The Wayne Police Department is working to help protect Autistic and children with special needs.
The department wants parents to fill out an emergency information form so officers may better assist and communicate with special needs children. The information will be entered into the department’s computer database.
"There's so many different levels of Autism and different types, we want our officers to be able to recognize the difference between is it someone with Autism or is someone really giving them a hard time," said Chief John Reardon. "The more information we can get to our officers when they respond to a call, the better off our officers will be in trying to help."
Parents may provide information on any triggers or aversions, conversation starters, and a child’s method of communication. Officers can then access the information, which will provide them with a better understanding of how to help. They will be notified if they respond to a house of someone who registered with the department.
Information will be kept strictly confidential. Police also recommend submitting a photograph with the form. The photo will be added to the address file.
Reardon said police throughout the state have received specialized training recently to better help Autistic residents and those with special needs.
Included with the form is information about Project Lifesaver, a national program that uses radio technology to help locate missing persons. Participants wear a bracelet equipped with a transmitter, which can aid authorities in finding someone who is missing.
Forms are available at the police department’s records bureau. They can be dropped off between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call the department at 973-694-0600.