Wareham PD Launches Helpful New Program for Drivers on the Autism Spectrum
Earlier this year, a priority bill was passed for The Arc of Massachusetts and Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts to ensure better interactions between police officers and persons with autism spectrum disorder.
Formally called the Blue Envelope Program, the Wareham Police Department is proud to announce its involvement with this new initiative.
What Is the Blue Envelope Program?
The Blue Envelope Program is designed to "promote inclusivity and serve as an enhanced communication awareness tool between law enforcement and community members diagnosed with a condition or disability such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, dementia, anxiety, or other conditions that might require additional accommodations or awareness during a law enforcement interaction."
The bill was passed in Massachusetts in July of this year, and it continues to gain support from police associations like the Wareham Police Department.
Wareham PD Joins Blue Envelope Program
According to Wareham PD, inside the envelope is contact information for family members and guardians, as well as instructions for the police officer regarding individualized communication needs.
“These envelopes can be stored in a motor vehicle and provided to a police officer during a motor vehicle accident, traffic stop, or any other interaction,” said the department. “This envelope alerts the officer that someone is on the autism spectrum.”
The department also has an Autism/Special Needs Information Form and a Dementia and Alzheimer’s Questionnaire. These forms can be completed and provided to the Wareham Police Department to assist officers with an interaction in the community not involving a motor vehicle.
“All information provided is voluntary and is designed to help us better serve individuals in the community,” said the department.
The Blue Envelopes are located at the Wareham Police Department, and the Autism/Special Needs Information Form and Dementia and Alzheimer’s Questionnaire can be located online.
Important Contacts for Program Information
Sergeant Kevin Reilly, 508-295-1212 x 2523
Patrolman Aaron Pacheco, 508-295-1212 X 2579
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