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Published on June 20, 2024
South San Francisco Police Debuts Project Guardian to Protect Individuals with Special NeedsSource: Google Street View

The South San Francisco Police Department is stepping up its efforts to safeguard vulnerable community members through Project Guardian, a system designed to better assist individuals with special needs during interactions with law enforcement. According to a recent department announcement, Project Guardian enables caregivers and family members to confidently register individuals with conditions like Autism, Dementia, Alzheimer's, or mental health issues into a voluntary and confidential database that officers can access.

This initiative is intended to provide police with crucial data that can easily assess and de-escalate potential situations involving registered participants. It incorporates key details about the registered individual, such as their diagnosis, their functionality level, potential triggers, favored communication styles, and methods of calming. A photograph is also included for identification purposes, particularly in instances where a participant might be reported missing. The South San Francisco Police Department believes that having immediate access to such information can prove pivotal during police responses.

Participants of Project Guardian will receive stickers to display on their front doors or vehicles. These stickers are a visual cue to officers that a registered individual might be present, thereby promoting an enhanced and more sensitive approach to their interactions. The department's goal is to foster a safer and more understanding exchange between officers and community members with special needs.

For those interested in enrolling their loved ones in the program, registration is made simple through the use of a QR code. The South San Francisco Police Department has highlighted that while participation is entirely figuratively free of charge, the value it aims to deliver in safeguarding vulnerable persons is immeasurable.