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Saturday, August 19, 2023

Training the NYPD

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss interactions between police and autistic peopleWhen cops encounter autistic people they may not respond in the same way as NT people, and things can get out of hand. Among other things, they may misinterpret autistic behavior as aggressive or defiant, and respond with tasers, batons, chokeholds, or worse.

Posts have discussed incidents in the following places:

This list is not exhaustive.  Indeed, it does not even scratch the surface.

Police training could be helpful, but we also need programs to evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the training.

A release from the Mayor of New York:

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Department of Education (DOE) Chancellor David C. Banks, and New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Edward Caban today announced a new partnership between the DOE and the Police Academy aimed at working with young people with autism and other developmental disabilities. Experts from the DOE’s Special Education Office led a day-long training in person at the Police Academy on behaviors and responses of students with autism and other developmental disabilities and to educate NYPD recruits on responsible and compassionate ways to communicate with all young people.


This partnership signifies the first time the DOE has been invited to directly participate in the training of NYPD recruits. Experts from the DOE will visit the Police Academy on a regular cadence going forward, hosting trainings for each class of recruits, starting with the current training class.

During the training session, participants not only develop an understanding of autism and communication-based disabilities but learn strategies to support students with autism and other developmental disabilities during crises, responding effectively and increasing the use of thoughtful communication tools. Participants also received an overview of school supports for students when they are in crisis and tools interventions schools use prior to calling for emergency services.