PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- A victim advocate who uses a powerchair to get around is threatening to sue the City of Peoria.
Latrice Jackson-Anderson says the police station where she works now is refusing to make changes to accommodate her.
Jackson-Anderson says she’s volunteered as a victim advocate for Peoria Police for six years and signed on as an employee last year when the position opened.
“I help victims of domestic violence, sexual assault,” says Jackson-Anderson.
Jackson-Anderson is a quadriplegic. In recent months, she says she’s been assigned to the police station off Cinnabar Avenue with a bathroom that’s not big enough for her to maneuver, forcing her to wear an adult diaper.
“When I got into the stall, the bottom of my footrest hit the chair. I literally have to twist my body out,” says Jackson-Anderson. “So, what I’ve resulted to in the past month is just voiding myself and then I drive myself home and change.”
On Wednesday she met with an attorney to begin filing an equal opportunity complaint. Attorney Quacy Smith says a federal lawsuit may soon follow.
“While the law doesn’t require you to give the accommodation that the person requests, it does require you to give an accommodation that works,” says Smith.
Smith says it’s possible the police station is technically compliant under the Americans with Disabilities Act, but it’s not working for his client.
Jackson-Anderson also claims the elevators don’t always work, and she injured herself using a desk not built to fit her powerchair.
The City of Peoria responded to Arizona Family’s request for comment by sending the following statement:
“Ms. Jackson-Anderson is represented by legal counsel so we are limited on what we can say in response. However, the City maintains that the Peoria Police Department building is ADA compliant. The City also made changes and enhancements to the Peoria Police Department building, its facilities and her work space, on its own initiative and pursuant to requests from Ms. Jackson-Anderson. These changes were made according to her specific preferences.
Additionally, the City is an equal employment opportunity employer. The City places great emphasis on maintaining a work environment that is free from unlawful discrimination and the City complies with the ADA.”
Jackson-Anderson says the situation didn’t have to come down to litigation. She says for years she volunteered at the police station off Lake Pleasant Parkway which, she says, has an adequate bathroom.
She says she can’t understand why Peoria PD won’t allow her to transfer to the station that fits her needs.
“That was my first station. I could complete my essential job functions,” says Jackson-Anderson. “That’s all I want.”
The City of Peoria provided two pictures late Thursday showing modifications made to bathroom stalls at the police station off Cinnabar.