Responding to assist individuals with Autism is becoming a more prevalent situation for law enforcement officers in not only New Jersey but nation-wide. Individuals with Developmental Disabilities are 7 times more likely to come in contact with law enforcement than the general population.
According to the CDC, New Jersey has the highest rate of autism in the nation. On a daily basis Madison Police Officers encounter a multitude of individuals in emergency situations and just as each emergency differs from the next, so does the individual involved, especially in regards to people with autism.
Madison Police personnel have attended Autism Shield Training by POAC to have a better working knowledge to deescalate uncomfortable situations and prevent the need of force when interacting with individuals with autism. POAC has credited this class with saving the lives of children with autism across New Jersey who wandered away from home and were reported missing. Officers are also trained how to search and where to look when attempting to locate a missing autistic person.
Madison patrol vehicles are equipped with ‘Emergency Sensory Tool Kits’ to assist those with special needs in emergency situations. The kits, which were provided by POAC, includes several items that are designed to help calm individuals with ASD experiencing crisis or difficult situations by giving them “sensory input” necessary to help them cope and regulate.
Autism affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups
1 in 54 Children in the United States is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum
1 in 34 boys identified with Autism
1 in 144 girls identified with Autism
In New Jersey 1 of every 32 Children
In New Jersey 1 in 20 boys identified with Autism
In New Jersey 1 in 85 girls identified with Autism
Nearly 50% of all individuals with Autism will go missing at some point during their lifetime.
The average age of someone with autism is 36 years old.
Drowning remains a leading cause of death for children with autism and accounts for approximately 90 percent of deaths associated with wandering or bolting by those age 14 and younger.
30-40% of developmental disabled Boys are sexual abused before they turn 18.
60-70% of developmental disabled Girls are sexual abused before they turn 18.
Half of all people with developmental disability who are victims of sexual assault will be sexually assaulted 10 or more times.
40% of people with Autism are non-verbal.
50% of Children with Autism wander or bolt from safety.
Two-thirds of Children with Autism between the ages of 6 and 15 have been bullied.
Autism/Special Needs Registry:
Do you have a family member who has special needs? Below are three listed voluntary confidential services which are here to help us help you to ensure the safety and security of those you love.
Special Needs CAD/Address Alert:
The Madison Police Department, is offering a voluntary registry service for people with disabilities who may require special assistance in emergency or crisis situations. The confidential registry may provide essential information that will assist police, fire, EMS and other emergency workers to safely address the needs of residents of all abilities.
The information will be stored in our Dispatch CAD system and will only be accessible to dispatchers and 1st Responders when there is a call for service at the corresponding address.
You may also register for AlertMadison/Smart911 which is a free nationwide service that allows users to create a Smart911 Safety Profile, which provides vital information to emergency dispatchers and first responders during an emergency.
Residents are encouraged to create their safety profile with Smart911 to have their information available to dispatchers and to receive emergency notifications. Smart911 is private and secure, is only used for emergency responses, and only made available to the 9-1-1 system in the event of an emergency call.
You may also register for Register Ready. What is NJ Register Ready? New Jersey’s Special Needs Registry for Disasters allows New Jersey residents with disabilities or access and functional needs and their families, friends, caregivers and associates an opportunity to provide information to emergency response agencies so emergency responders can better plan to serve them in a disaster or other emergency.
The information collected by Register Ready is confidential and will not be available to the public. The information will be held securely and only used for emergency response and planning.
Call TOLL FREE 2-1-1 and register by telephone; TTY/TDD translation services also available.
Go to the Register Ready website and complete the online registry
The Community Relations Unit is responsible for promoting citizen participation in the reduction and prevention of crime through education and active support as well as providing educational and safety-related programs based on various community needs.
We are always here to help
For more information, please contact Corporal Stephanie C. Aquino of the Madison Police Community Relations Unit at 973-593-3034 or AquinoS@rosenet.org.