NJ police department's Disabilities awareness project equips officers Using sensory Instrument kits

NJ police department's Disabilities awareness project equips officers Using sensory Instrument kits

Roselle Park Police are arming patrol cars with brand new'Emergency Sensory Tool Kits' and coaching officers

"This sort of instruction in these types of tools can help us to better serve people."

The notion emerged during Autism Awareness Month a week when Officer Jessica Diaz approached the principal together with her proposition, McCaffery said.

"And after she gave me a demonstration, I said totally."

The problem touched close to home for many folks in the division, including the first himself, that have family members with disabilities, McCaffery said.

The kits include earmuffs and shades to block out noise or bright lights, stress balls as well as other handheld objects -- also as dry-erase and image boards to ease communication with nonverbal persons.

Though there were reports of another departments arming police or firefighters with comparable kits, the chief said the Roselle Park app was created in house from the bottom up.

With forecasts to defund the authorities emerging across the nation in the last year, the leader said the department is working hard never to participate with an incident that could warrant such steps in Roselle Park.

"Every tool which you are able to provide an officer can help them to better serve the general public and to better serve the people who you run into," he explained. "We have not had a scenario that has known to this, [but] we are trying to become more proactive by it."

The nonprofit group Autism Speaks recommends particular training for police on the best way best to manage individuals with disabilities they experience while reacting to calls.

In a section of its site devoted to teaching police departments and first responders, the team says people with disabilities may not understand danger or risks, be too fearful or interested, don't respond to police orders, feel overwhelmed or prevent eye contact, among other matters.

"Authorities are trained to react to a crisis situation with a particular protocol, yet this protocol might not always be the perfect method to socialize with individuals with disabilities," the page reads. "Because authorities are typically the first to react to a crisis, it's essential that these officers possess a working understanding of autism, and also the vast array of behaviors individuals with disabilities can exhibit in crisis conditions."

By equipping each patrol car using the sensory instrument kits and supplying new training to its own officers, the Roselle Park Police Department expects to accomplish this objective.

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