Autism awareness: Darien Police to participate in ‘blue envelope’ program
Starting immediately, the Darien Police Department will be participating in the statewide “blue envelope” program.
The new law, supported by the Connecticut Police Chief’s Association, Department of Motor Vehicles, and Autism Advocacy groups, seeks to improve interactions between police officers and people on the autism spectrum. The blue envelopes will be available at the front desk of the Darien Police Department.
Traffic stops can be stressful for anyone, but are exceptionally so for those identified as autistic.
To help improve the encounter, participants will keep their vehicle information in the new blue colored envelope. When the individual is pulled over and retrieves their registration at an officer’s request, it will be immediately apparent to the officer that the individual is on the autism spectrum. This communicates to the officer that the individual may not react in a way that he or she is used to, which has the potential for miscommunication. It also allows for the individual to have some idea of what may happen during the stop, as uncertainty is a particular challenge for those with autism. On the envelope are tips for both the driver and officer on how best to navigate a traffic stop.
The program is voluntary for anyone who would like to participate.
“The men and women of the Darien Police Department are proud to participate in a program that improves communication between the department and those we serve,” police said.