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Saturday, December 2, 2023

A Police Program in East Haven

From the Hartford Courant:
A Connecticut police department has begun a collaboration aimed at helping it serve its residents with autism and special needs.

The East Haven Police Department collaboration includes an “innovative program” named the Linked-Autism Safety Project, according to police Capt. Joseph Murgo.

The free program, created by Ashley McClain, the mother of a child with autism, “builds a relationship between emergency responders and the members of the Autism and special needs community,” according to Murgo. “This project was created as a collaborative effort with a network of public safety professionals, autism professionals and autism parents.”
Murgo said caregivers of the East Haven residents in the autism and special needs community can register online, or at, or in person at the East Haven Police Department.

“Upon completing the registration form, this information is made available to first responders with important individualized information about the person with autism and within the special needs community,” Murgo said in an email. “All registrations are secure and confidential and used only for the response of East Haven first responders.”


Murgo noted that every East Haven family that registers for the program will receive:
  • A Family Emergency Planning Folder with individualized instructions.
  • A guide that includes tips and tools to navigate this program in an emergency situation.
Murgo said the family emergency planning folders “provide an emergency preparedness social story, created by professionals, which is a personalized learning tool containing text and illustration that supports the safe and meaningful exchange of information between parents, professionals, and people within the special needs community of all ages.”

Further, the town’s police patrol vehicles will be equipped with a “sensory kit which contains a variety of sensory products recommended by professionals in the field.”