GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - One in 59 children in the U.S. have autism, and that can sometimes create a problem for law enforcement officers.
Gulfport police is hosting an event Saturday to help their officers and families of autistic children open a line of communication.
Autism Safety Day at the police station on 15th Street will give families of autistic children a chance to let police know who they are and what behaviors police should be aware of in a non-emergency setting.
“Every person with autism is different. Triggers are different,” said Officer Joshua Bromen. “We can put that information within our system, flags and alerts of, ‘Hey, this residence has a child with autism who is maybe triggered by lights or sirens or things of that nature.'"
“The officers can accommodate ahead of time, within reason, to try to lower the chances of this child having a negative interaction with law enforcement,” he explained.
The event is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. If you want to attend, but have an autistic child who doesn’t do well in crowded environments, call the police department at 228-868-5900 to schedule a one-on-one visit.