James Walsh reports at The Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
The day is going to come, Charlene Wilford knows, when one of her 12-year-old son’s frequent “meltdowns” will bring the police to her door. When that time comes, she says, she hopes St. Paul police officer Rob Zink answers the call.
Chances are, he will.
Zink, 45, recently created the Cop Autism Response Education (CARE) Project, as part of a groundbreaking effort to ensure that police calls involving people with autism end safely. His first priority has been getting to know St. Paul families with autistic children and explaining how police respond to domestic violence calls — a not uncommon scenario involving those with an autism spectrum disorder. His second is helping police find quieter and gentler ways to defuse those calls.
For more information about the St. Paul Police Department’s work to reach out to families of those with autism spectrum disorder, e-mail: SPPD-Autism@ci.stpaul.mn.us