CHICAGO— On August 7, the Chicago Police Department released the news of adding on their first ever Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Officer as part of their reforms coming into place.

Deborah Pascua, a retired 27-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department who has worked with CPD on ADA issues since 1994, will be taking the position. Pascua used to serve with the department as an Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and 1st Amendment auditor.

CPD first announced the addition to the department on July 27, which marked the week of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The civil rights law, also known as ADA, was passed in 1990 to ensure that those with disabilities of any kind would not face discrimination.

Deputy Superintendent Barbara West, who oversees the CPD Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform said she’s happy Pascua will be joining the department again.

“Deborah will serve an instrumental role in ensuring our officers will have the clear policy, training, and direction needed to provide equal protection of the law for all Chicago residents who are living with disabilities,” she said.

According to the release, Pascua will work with the CPD Training Division and other units to provide a comprehensive multidimensional ADA compliance plan and training component necessary for achieving compliance with the mandates of the consent decree.

Deborah Pascua.

“Ensuring equal access to police services and facilities for persons with disabilities is a major priority for me because we all have family members or friends in the community impacted by a disability,” said Pascua. “I look forward to applying my organizational knowledge of CPD, auditing/legal background, and training experience to successfully fulfill this role.”

The addition of Pascua follows the recent hire of the Department’s first-ever Language Access Coordinator. Roxana Cortes, who previously served with Chicago Public Schools as a translation specialist, joined the department last month, and is helping guide CPD’s efforts toward compliance with language access policy requirements mandated by the consent decree, as well as from the City of Chicago Office of New Americans.