Cranston Police to receive training regarding autism

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CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) – Cranston police officers will soon receive special training in interacting with people who are autistic.

In a news release issued Sunday, Colonel Michael Winquist said that the training will be conducted by Officer Jason Head of the Newport Police Department and begins Monday. All of Cranston’s officers will receive the training, which will instruct them on how to recognize the symptoms of autism and how to interact with people who are autistic.

Estimates from the CDC show that 1 in 68 children are on the autism spectrum.

“Persons with autism are estimated to have up to seven times more contacts with law enforcement agencies during their lifetimes, yet only 20% of patrol responses related to autistic individuals involve criminal activity,” Winquist said.  “By providing our officers with basic information about how to best approach and communicate with someone with autism, whether it is an emergency or non-emergency situation, we will be able to prevent behavioral escalation and resolve a situation easily.”

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