NYPD officer becomes a voice for the Bronx deaf community
A NYPD officer is giving a voice to the deaf community, one sign at a time.
Angel Familia is among the 400 members of the NYPD's recent graduating class. The 21-year-old says "sign language is my first language." In fact, signing was the only language growing up in his Bronx home.
Both of Familia's parents are deaf. He learned to speak words out loud at the age of seven.
"I learned quickly I had the responsibility to be the voice for my parents," said Familia.
Now, as a patrol officer within the 19th Precinct, he's getting to know his neighborhood starting with the community he's most familiar with. Parishioners at St. Elizabeth's Catholic Church were excited to be able to communicate with an officer who spoke their language.
Familia hopes to provide a voice to help bridge the gap between the deaf and the hearing community.