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Published on April 03, 2024
White Settlement Police Support Autism Awareness with Special Badges and "Take Me Home" ProgramSource: White Settlement Police Department

To illuminate the lives touched by autism, the White Settlement Police Department has launched a striking initiative, rolling out a series of specially designed badges and patches to commemorate Autism Awareness Month. According to the White Settlement Police Department, these symbols of solidarity and understanding, crafted with input from officers and staff with personal connections to the autism community, are available for officers to don throughout April, following World Autism Day marked on April 2.

The design of the patch, which draws inspiration from the lived experiences of police department members connected to individuals on the autism spectrum, spotlights a condition that the Centers for Disease Control reports as affecting about 1 in 36 children and 1 in 45 adults nationwide; the department's tangible acknowledgment of autism aims to foster greater acceptance of people grappling with the social and communicative hurdles that the spectrum can entail. The White Settlement Police Department concurrently promotes an initiative named "Take Me Home," a program established in September 2022 designed to help swiftly reunite missing individuals who are on the spectrum or have developmental disabilities with their families, the opportunity to register a loved one is open, providing officers with essential information to aid in potential search and rescue situations.

This community-conscious program has seen successful enrolment from several families since its inception, demonstrating the impact such a focused departmental effort can have on safety and awareness. Residents interested in adding a family member to the "Take Me Home" program can reach out to Corporal Laura Gonzalez for registration details, ensuring that this critical information is at the disposal of the police in times of need.