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4/5/2024 - Southbury Police Department Announces New Program "Linked- Autism Safety Project"

The Southbury Police Department is excited to announce a new and innovative program called Linked- Autism Safety Project.

LINKED was created by an Autism mom, Ashley McClain to build a relationship between emergency responders and the members of the Autism and special needs community. This project was created as a collaborative effort with a network of public safety professionals, autism professionals, and autism parents.

This program is a voluntary registration for the Southbury’s official Autism Alert System. Caregivers of the Southbury autism and special needs community can access the registration form by stopping into the Southbury Police Department to fill out a hard copy of the registration form. This information will provide police with important individualized information about the person with autism and within the special needs community. This will allow the police to create a pre-arrival plan to best assist those within the community. All registrations are secure and confidential and used only for the response of Southbury Police Department.

Each family that registers for the LINKED program will receive a Family Emergency Planning Folder with individualized instructions and a guide that includes tips and tools to navigate this program and an emergency situation. Additionally, the Family Emergency Planning Folders provide an emergency preparedness social story, created by professionals, which is a personalized learning tool containing text and illustration that supports the safe and meaningful exchange of information between parents, professionals, and people within the special needs community of all ages.

Police Officers will be equipped with a sensory pack in every emergency vehicle which contains a variety of sensory products provided by recommended by professionals in the field. To accompany the sensory packs, LINKED- Autism Safety Project is providing Emergency Picture Exchange Communication System, which is a picture communication tool for non-verbal residents developed by professionals to assist in the dialogue between the child and police.

The Southbury Police Department is committed to the Autism and special needs community and developing best practices and increasing the quality of services to all our residents. Southbury Police Department will also participate in Autism specific training through LINKED- Autism Safety Program to better understand and support the needs of the Autism community.

This program is free and open to all Southbury residents. Please share this information with your neighbors and friends.