Does someone in your home have autism? If so, you may be interested in NNPD Project Guardian—a program developed to help keep your loved one safe.
Police often don’t know whether or not individuals they encounter have autism because there aren’t any telltale physical signs of the disorder. Flashing lights on an emergency vehicle, for example, might cause a person with autism to become frightened and act out. Officers may not understand why some individuals with autism will not make eye contact with them, keep their fists clenched, or flap their hands. What may seem like a simple interaction with police could be a very traumatic situation for a person with autism and confusing to officers.
Project Guardian educates all NNPD officers about the common characteristics of autism and teaches them how to comfort individuals with the disorder. But it’s imperative we go further—and that’s where we need your help.
NNPD has created a voluntary database to assist with identifying individuals with autism. The below application requests basic information about your loved one with autism, as well as a recent photo. This information is entered into the city’s dispatch system and kept confidential. The information will be provided to first responders only if responding to a call for service at your residence.
This program only covers the City of Newport News. If your loved one is not a Newport News resident, but frequents an address in Newport News, please provide the Newport News address.
Contact Det. J. Howser if you have questions: 757-928-4211.