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Sheriff Robert Maciol discusses initiatives to better assist those with autism
Observer-Dispatch - 4/7/2021
A logo showing support for autism awareness was unveiled by the Oneida County Sheriff's Office at a news conference Wednesday.
Speaking outside of the county's public safety building, Sheriff Robert Maciol said the magnetic decals would be on patrol cars for the month of April.
Maciol also spoke about his office's initiatives to better assist those with autism or other disabilities. Most recently, 30 officers participated in a training seminar on how to respond to those on the autism spectrum, Maciol said.
"In many cases, whether we interact appropriately, it can be a life or death situation," he said.
Kathy Caruso and Kelly Britton, founders of an advocacy group for parents of individuals with disabilities, said they were pleased that the sheriff's office was undergoing such training.
"It's building bridges between individuals who cannot do it for themselves, and law enforcement and medical responders," Caruso said.
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She noted as an example, that her 26-year-old son with autism can experience sensory overload or overstimulation such as by light or sound, something first responders need to be aware of.
Maciol also reviewed other initiatives his office participates in, such as Project Lifesaver, which uses bracelets emitting a specific frequency to track someone who is lost.
The sheriff's office also uses the Yellow Dot Program, in which a home is marked with a yellow dot indicating to first responders that information on its residents — such as medical history — will be kept in the freezer.
H. Rose Schneider is the public safety reporter for the Observer-Dispatch. For unlimited access to her stories, please subscribe or activate your digital account today. Email Rose at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Observer-Dispatch: Sheriff Robert Maciol discusses initiatives to better assist those with autism
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