Fostering Positive Interactions Between Police Officers and People With Autism
This program is designed to alleviate some of the stress associated with a traffic stop by providing an opportunity for drivers and officers to interact in a safe, predictable manner. This event allows participants to engage with an officer and experience a routine traffic stop in a controlled setting, events take place in a closed parking lot. The goal of the program is to familiarize participants with the typical steps of a traffic stop and prepare them for the experience elsewhere.
Participants will learn how to effectively utilize the Blue Envelope when stopped by a police officer. Blue Envelopes will be available for drivers should they choose to use them. The Blue Envelope is a Connecticut DMV resource that provides a blue-colored envelope with written instructions to assist a motorist with autism spectrum disorder navigate a traffic stop. The envelope also alerts police officers that the individual has autism so that enhanced communication can be reached between the two. You can read more at the DMV Website here.
Participants can be drivers or passengers for this program. They will utilize their own vehicle while being pulled over in a closed parking lot allowing for the safest possible scenario. Before the traffic stops, participants will review the steps of a routine traffic stop, and also how to use the DMV Blue Envelope. Drivers and Police Officers will also have the opportunity to meet and engage informally before the traffic stops.
If you would like more information or to set up an event in your community please contact us at email@example.com
When: April 6, 2024; 9 am to1 pm & 1 to 2 pm
Where: Watertown High School, 324 French St, Watertown, CT
Watertown Police Department, 195 French St, Watertown, CT
Who: Traffic Stops -- Drivers and/or passengers with autism and a support person. Drivers must have a current license, learner's permit, car, registration, and insurance.
Meet-and-Greet -- Children/Individuals with autism interested in meeting local police (siblings welcome)
What: Traffic Stop -- Officers from Watertown, Waterbury, and Naugatuck PD along with SCSU PD will perform practice routine traffic stops with drivers and/ or passengers with autism in a closed parking lot at Watertown High School.
Meet-and-Greet: Directly following the traffic stop practice the Watertown Police and Sun, Moon, & Stars, Inc. will host a meet-and-greet at the Watertown Police Station. This is an opportunity for families with children on the autism spectrum to meet Watertown Police Officers as well as our Officers to meet our families. This Meet & Greet will include a short presentation, meeting officers, and a tour of the Watertown Police Station. Families will also be able to meet our Watertown Public Schools Resource Officers along with our Canine officer. Lite refreshments will be made available.
Any family that has not already registered their child with the WPD's New Autism Safety Program, Linked- Autism Safety Project, will have the opportunity to do so in person or online. If you have already registered your child, you will have the opportunity to update their information in person or online. Please bring a 2”x 2” updated photo of your child or you can very simply register online here.
Contact information for the Meet-and-Greet (Sun, Moon, & Stars, Inc): firstname.lastname@example.org
Presented by: SCSU Center of Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sun, Moon, & Stars, Inc., Watertown Police Department, Waterbury Police Department, Naugatuck Police Department, and SCSU Police Department.
When: April 27, 2024; 8 am to 12 pm
Where: Waterford High School, 20 Rope Ferry Road, Waterford, CT
Who: Drivers and/or passengers with autism and a support person. Drivers must have a current license, learner's permit, car, registration, and insurance.
What: Officers from Waterford, East Lyme, Groton Town, Groton City, Montville, and New London Polie Departments along with SCSU PD will perform practice routine traffic stops with drivers and/ or passengers with autism.
We are conducting an online (anonymous) survey of the experience’s persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder have had in interacting with the police. This survey typically takes about 15-20 minutes to complete and has been approved by the human subjects committee at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU IRB #1005). We would be pleased if any individuals with ASD could participate by following the link below. Please also share this link with any individuals with ASD who might be interested in participating.
Fred Volkmar MD, Scott Jackson, Ph.D.,and Shane O'Brien