Southern’s University Police Department is leading the way on making traffic stops go more smoothly for members of the autism community. To improve understanding and communication between police officers and members of the autism community, the SCSU Police Department has created a training video with the university’s Center of Excellence on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD Center). Training is meant to create shared awareness and build bridges between communities so that people have common understandings and have more successful encounters.
The video is just the beginning: recently, SCSU police officers as took part in a training exercise where they pulled over drivers who have autism spectrum disorders. Volunteers who are on the spectrum participated in the exercise to learn from and help the police.
Channel 3 (WFSB) news covered the training and interviewed University Chief of Police Joe Dooley and Kari Sassu, director of strategic initiatives for the ASD Center and a professor in the Counseling and School Psychology Department, about the video and the training sessions.
Watch the training video, “Police Traffic Stops with Autistic Drivers”
Read the interview, “SCSU police introduce training to have successful interactions with people who have autism” (By Roger Sisanin, WFSB, Oct. 5, 2021)