Date: March 21, 2019
Re: Autism Awareness
Issued by: Lieutenant Jeremiah P. Marron Jr.
For Immediate Release
Darien, CT - The Darien Police Department is a proud
supporter of Autism Awareness Month.
Throughout the month of April, we will be joining hundreds of other
agencies across the country in displaying a special Autism Awareness magnet on
our police vehicles as part of the “Autism Patch Challenge.”
The Autism Patch Challenge began in 2017,
and originated in New Rochelle, NY by NRPD Detective Chris Greco in honor of
his son, Christopher, who is non-verbal. He has created a charitable
foundation, “Christopher’s Voice,” which provides various support options for
families with Autism, and focuses on emergency responders.
Spearheaded by Officer Rich Flood, the
Darien Police Department will now be participating in the Autism Patch
Challenge as well. Ofc. Flood has coordinated
this effort and saw to it that the police car magnets and uniform shoulder
patches were designed and created. With
the financial assistance of the Darien Police Association, the magnets and
patches have been manufactured and will be soon seen prominently displayed on
Research shows that
persons with Autism and other developmental disabilities are approximately
seven times more likely to come in contact with law enforcement than the
general population. The actions or non-responsiveness of people with Autism are
almost always misinterpreted by untrained individuals. Inappropriate social responses and
non-contextual emotional outbursts, commonly seen in people with Autism, can
cause confusion at best and spark conflict in worst case scenarios.
situations can often be easily resolved when the officers and professionals
involved have the information they need to navigate through what can be a
complex situation. During the month of
April, several Darien officers are scheduled to attend a training seminar to
learn how to become more aware of the condition of Autism, its symptoms, and
the characteristics commonly seen in individuals who are affected. The primary goal of the training is to
enhance officer and citizen safety, and to be able to proactively work with
individuals with Autism, their families, and advocacy organizations.
addition to the training, officers will also receive "go-bags" for
their patrol vehicles that will be filled with items to facilitate interactions
with persons with Autism.
#END OF RELEASE