Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Transforms Patrol Car to Promote the Autism Recognition Alert Program

Minden, NV…In honor of Autism Awareness month, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is proud to display a newly wrapped vehicle with vinyl decals to increase awareness throughout the community surrounding Autism Spectrum Disorder and bring attention to their Autism Recognition Alert Program. For the second year, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has wrapped a patrol car with colored puzzle pieces as an inviting way for children and adults with autism to meet police officers in a casual setting.

The car is available to visit households who would like to enroll a family member in the Autism Recognition Alert Program and will be displayed for the public to take pictures with at the Douglas County Autism Resource Fair.
The car will make its way around town, visiting those who are in the alert registration program for updates, and visit households who want to register a participant into the alert program. If you are interested in scheduling a visit from the car and/or receiving a registration form for the alert program, please email nchrzanowski@douglasnv.us.

“We hope what we are doing here continues to make a difference for families and those living with autism,” said Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley. “The car is meant to be attention grabbing to promote autism acceptance, make more families aware of the program, and help us connect with those on the spectrum. When law enforcement can have a proactive interaction with an individual on the spectrum in a safe environment, it can aid in safety of that individual should they encounter us in a time of need.”

This is the fourth year the registration program has been available in Douglas County. This program focuses on providing support to families, caregivers, and those living on the Autism Spectrum by helping first responders identify if an individual has a disability, such as autism, if the Sheriff’s Office comes across them. This program helps the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office be better equipped to help people with special needs who may become lost injured or who many wanders away from home.

To learn more about the Autism Recognition Alert Program please visit, https://sheriff.douglascountynv.gov/…/autism….
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How Does the Autism Recognition Alert Program Work?
The program creates a database that family members and/or caregivers can register people with autism with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. The information provided stays confidential and is used to assist officers with the early recognition of a person’s disability and de-escalation techniques. By registering, officers can then access the information provided in their dispatch system. An officer can search a person through their name or physical description. There is no charge to be enrolled in this program.

In addition to enrollment, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will provide an identification card that people with autism can present during a police encounter. The ID card will identify the individual as a person with autism and includes their emergency contact information.

Program Goals
By taking a proactive approach, our goal is to establish relationships with people on the autism spectrum, their family members, and caregivers. An active partnership will help reduce anxiety people with autism experience with everyday police encounters and during critical incidents. This program will also help improve police officer awareness and response to people with autism.

How to Enroll
The program works through a registration process. The registration form asks for the individual’s information, a photo, physical description, emergency contact information, and any information that would assist officers with de-escalation techniques. Officers can access this information in their dispatch system.

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