Community Safety Resources
We believe in fostering a secure and inclusive environment for everyone in our community. The following resources can help you and your family navigate interactions with law enforcement and judicial bodies and choose an ideal method of autism identification, if desired.
Law Enforcement and Judicial Resources
Tips for Building Positive Interactions with Law Enforcement for Families and Individuals with Disabilities
As an individual or a loved one of an individual with disabilities, it’s essential to be prepared for interactions with law enforcement to ensure positive outcomes. Use these helpful tips and resources to navigate those interactions.
What to Expect if You Go to Court
Have you been involved in a crime? Review this help presentation from Joan J. Burroughs, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney all about what you can expect when you have to go to court.
Autism Identification Resources
There are many reasons to consider carrying something that identifies yourself or a loved one as having an Autism diagnosis. If your loved one wanders or elopes, an Autism identification tool can help first responders know how to interact with them and return them to you safely. If you get stopped by a police officer while driving or while in the community, having an Autism ID may help improve your interaction. Disclosing an Autism diagnosis to a law enforcement officer is a personal choice. Law enforcement officers report that they make their best decisions when they have their best information; this includes knowing that an individual with whom they are interacting is Autistic.
If you believe that it would be beneficial for you or a loved one to carry an Autism ID, there are several options from which to choose. The Autism Society of Central Virginia does not endorse any products or services.
Medical alert jewelry, like a bracelet or a necklace, is an easily identifiable method of communicating that someone has a condition that first responders and others need to be aware of. This ID option can be particularly beneficial for those who are non-speaking or who may experience challenges with communicating effectively through speech during an interaction with a first responder or another unfamiliar person.
Temporary ID tattoos can be customized to include important information that can help return your loved one to safety if you are separated in public. When applied to an individual’s arm, these tattoos provide a visible form of identification that other people can refer to.
AngelSense offers assistive technology to help improve your loved one’s safety and independence. AngelSense plans include a GPS tracker, assistive speakerphone, live monitoring, and proactive alerting.
Safety systems have been created to help individuals who have a tendency to wander or elope be reunited with their loved ones. These ID programs typically involve registering your loved one into a database that can be accessed by first responders during an emergency. Different programs offer ID tools such as medical jewelry, GPS trackers, wallet cards, shoe tags, and others.
Medical Alert Stickers
Medical alert stickers that are placed on the door of your home and/or a window of your vehicle can allow you to proactively prepare for an encounter with a law enforcement officer or first responder. These stickers can provide information about behaviors that you or a loved one may present and strategies for successful interactions.
Wallet ID Cards
Wallet cards are communication tools that may be beneficial for Autistic teens and adults who frequently navigate the community independently. This ID card option in particular is suited for individuals who are able to reliably direct their speech and body movements since it requires telling a first responder about the ID card and reaching for the card when told to do so.