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Thursday, September 7, 2017

An App for Police

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss interactions between police and autistic people.  

A release from VariAware:
Vitals is a new technology, a platform with two apps, designed to create safer interactions between law enforcement and people with behavioral, mental health and developmental disorders. A first of its kind, the Vitals first responder App, is a non-intrusive, real-time resource developed as a way to enhance policing, give families of vulnerable individuals more peace of mind and improve the quality of life for people living with “invisible” disabilities.”
St. Paul is the first police department to partner with Vitals and is in the process of training its officers on how and when to use the app. Other metro and Greater Minnesota police departments are planning to implement Vitals in the coming weeks as usage of the new app is expected to spread quickly across the region and country over the next several months.
“I believe Vitals will help police do their tough jobs even better. As a mother of an autistic child, it’s very stressful thinking about how my child would interact with police officers during an active incident,” says Dawn Brasch, mother of an autistic child and director for the Autism Society of Minnesota.
“I applaud the leadership of the St. Paul Police department. They could have waited for others to implement Vitals first. But they saw the need and the potential to save lives and stood up for the mental health community.”
When St. Paul Police leadership learned about Vitals, they knew the app aligned perfectly with their vision of supporting officers’ interaction with vulnerable individuals more effectively. “We are excited about this new partnership with Vitals,” says police chief Todd Axtell.