BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi's police department is learning how to respond and interact with people who have autism.
Wayne Williams with the Mississippi Center for Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities says his mission is to help officers understand more about the disorder before they need to.
"There have been instances with mishaps with the first responders due to not knowing enough about how to respond," said Williams.
Held at the downtown Biloxi training facility, members of the Biloxi police and fire departments attended.
"People's behaviors can be misunderstood. So this is a basic recognition and awareness class. It will show what to look for, in unique ways," said Lt. Michael Brumley.
Williams says he wanted to put together real-life scenarios to help first responders know what to expect; such as a child grabbing their badge.
The training also offered techniques for the officers in dealing with the families of an autistic person.
"It's not always action. Sometimes it's learning how to best deal with the public that you respond to assist," Brumley noted.