Where I live and work is right by the two locations for the schools for the deaf in Maryland, so seeing a lot of deaf people use sign language is quite normal and I should be learning it, as well. Also, by having Gallaudet University not that far away (DC), just emphasizes it more. So, I may not be able to interpret sign language, but I've seen enough of it to know when someone is using it (not unlike being unable to speak Korean but knowing Korean when I hear it).
Our police officers should be part of our community and be able to discern between sign language, diabetic seizures and threatening gestures. Yet it seems like they are better prepared to deal with one man armed with a shotgun holding himself hostage in his apartment or for knowing how to rappel a 20-story building and use a laser sight to target a man through a plate glass window at 200' than being able to tell when a person is having a medical emergency ... or use sign language.
Why have we forgotten the simple things?