Goodyear Police learn new policing strategies to help autistic adults, children

Goodyear Police Department is learning how best to interact with those who have autism.
Published: Mar. 31, 2023 at 12:30 PM MST
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GOODYEAR, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - April is Autism Acceptance month, and the Goodyear Police Department officials are learning new strategies to help autistic adults and children. Completion of the training is rewarded with a new patch, featured on officers’ uniforms.

Deputy Chief Farrow said, “It’s educating our officers and having interactions with people who are on the spectrum themselves. We’re in the process of forming a connection with First Place AZ.” The chief said that it’s a matter of life experience for many autistic people and that this training has the capacity to make good change across Arizona.

The training is called the Be Safe Training where officers conduct interactions, training, and education. “It’s with the community as a whole. It’s really the awareness,” he said. “Some of these experiences [meltdowns] are triggered by a sound or stimulation.” The chief said his son is nonverbal but that he is more than capable of expressing his needs.