The Hollywood Police Department has recently instituted an Autism Awareness program that involves training for officers and a registration program for anyone with special needs.
Because police are usually first to respond to an emergency, it is important for officers to have a working knowledge of autism. Just as each emergency differs from the next, so does the individual involved, particularly with those on the autism spectrum.
Caregivers of someone on the autism spectrum who resides in Hollywood can go to www. hollywoodfl.org/1187/Autism-Outreach-Program and submit the individual’s information.
This information is confidential and will be routed to a sergeant. Each person who is registered will receive a sticker to display on their vehicle or residence. An autism awareness band and ID card will also be available.
This program allows officers in the field to be aware of an autistic individual at the location and tailor their approach as needed.