It’s another tool in the toolbox for police who are called out to assist those who suffer from autism.
The Saskatoon Police Service will launch what it calls a vulnerable person registry as a pilot project on Oct. 20.
Const. Dennis Hudec and his wife, Danita, have a seven-year-old daughter who has autism.
“Children with autism may not like to be touched, but with this new registry the officer can find out that information,” she said.
The registry, developed in partnership with Autism Services Saskatoon, allows for information to be submitted to police, by a family member of a vulnerable person, potentially to be used during situations in which police have become involved.
“Police will have all the information, with a picture, to find the missing child right away,” said Lynn Latta, who is with Autism Services.
She was speaking about the benefits of the pilot project. “Now officers know exactly what they’re dealing with in these (a person with autism) situations.”
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A vulnerable person would be someone who, due to a medical, mental health or physical condition, may have patterns of behavior which may pose a risk to themselves or others.
Depending on success, police may want to include other vulnerable persons, possibly those with Alzheimer’s disease or a mental illness.
“We’re two steps ahead,” Hudec said. “Having access to the picture makes a big difference, we find kids in five minutes from social media and the media’s help.”
Anyone who is interested in being part of the program can register at the Saskatoon Police website.