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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 9,744
Sponsored by: The Autism Site

America's cops need help. They're underfunded, stretched too thin, and dealing with deeply divided communities every day. They're asked to do so much with very little!

When law enforcement budgets get tight, the first thing to go are training programs that are considered as 'extras.' These extras can be anything that senior members of the department believe doesn't directly keep officers safe.

Autism-Interaction Training, for many departments, is often perceived as one of these 'extras.'

But that's not the right perspective. While rare in the general population, autism spectrum disorders are a reality in communities across the country. People on the spectrum are seven times more likely to come in contact with law enforcement than their nuerotypical peers. To properly do their job, law enforcement must understand how to interact with people on the spectrum, especially in the stressful or overwhelming situations that can prompt police interaction in the first place.

Many effective education programs already exist, but their implementation is piecemeal and dependent upon the funding and time being available in each department.

We can't stand back and continue to let autism-interaction training be a low-priority issue for our communities' police forces!

To help address the lack of universal training for our police on the unique circumstances the autism spectrum presents, we are calling upon the Justice Department to implement a mandatory, federally-funded education program that equips officers with the skills needed to identify and effectively interact with individuals on the autism spectrum. Sign the petition now!

Sign Here

To The Attorney General of the United States,

We are writing to you because we are concerned by the lack of universal police training when it comes to interacting with individuals on the autism spectrum.

According to the Autism Society of America, "Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first two years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Both children and adults on the autism spectrum typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities."

Autism can present itself in many different ways, and people on the spectrum often respond to stressful situations differently from nuerotypical people. They are also seven times more likely to come in contact with law enforcement than their nuerotypical peers. Standard interaction protocols often are not as effective for people on the spectrum, and may even be harmful.

People on the autism spectrum are as much a part of America's communities as people of different races, ethnicities, or national background. As such, we demand that proper, universal training in interacting with people on the spectrum be required in police departments across the country, and that the federal government fund this training to ensure it occurs.

Please use your position to advocate for the autism spectrum community and help law enforcement be better prepared to interact with it. Lives are at stake.

Thank you,

Petition Signatures

Feb 20, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 20, 2017 Joyce Haskins
Feb 20, 2017 Ricardo Hardin
Feb 20, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 20, 2017 Debra Davidson
Feb 20, 2017 Jennie deBeausset
Feb 20, 2017 Chicory James
Feb 20, 2017 Vikki Attard
Feb 20, 2017 Paula Shafransky
Feb 20, 2017 Diana Spencer Training is also needed for police encounters with the deaf.
Feb 20, 2017 Nancy Skelton Totally agree with this petition, there needs to be more awareness and understanding of Autism
Feb 20, 2017 Catherine O Diaz Zabala I have three children with AUTISM.
Feb 20, 2017 Jon Abbey
Feb 20, 2017 Kae Novotny Police absolutely need a lot of training/education regarding autism; children and adults. Police should do their job of "Protect and Serve", leave military actions to military personnel. Police are too violent, not accountable, militarized, out of touch.
Feb 20, 2017 Callie Riley
Feb 20, 2017 Laura Riley
Feb 20, 2017 Brandy Schumacher
Feb 20, 2017 Therese Monse
Feb 20, 2017 Julie Light I have a son on the autistic spectrum. He is very high functioning (bachelor's degree, drivers license) but still has difficulty with social cues and "givens" that neurotypical people understand.
Feb 20, 2017 Lise Gijsen
Feb 20, 2017 Dawn Bowers
Feb 20, 2017 Marilyn Weber
Feb 20, 2017 stephanie cameron
Feb 20, 2017 Carly Koehn Let's give officers the tools that they and the community require.
Feb 20, 2017 Francine Allen I may be on the spectrum, and definitely struggle with anxiety related to not "fitting in". I try hard to be a good news productive citizen, as do many of my fellow people on the spectrum. We're not criminals. We need support.
Feb 20, 2017 Maria dels Àngels Beltran
Feb 20, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 20, 2017 Matt Grimsey Have already been training policemen in South West England(as an autistic self-advocate) but sort of training school be mandatory elsewhere as well.
Feb 20, 2017 Vasilis Nisiotis
Feb 20, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 20, 2017 Deborah Golembiewski
Feb 20, 2017 Emmanuel Xerias
Feb 19, 2017 Marie Boyle
Feb 19, 2017 COLLEEN Giblin
Feb 19, 2017 Melanie Kircher
Feb 17, 2017 Janice Nakamura
Feb 16, 2017 M Kent
Feb 16, 2017 K G
Feb 16, 2017 Judith Anderson
Feb 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Feb 15, 2017 Patricia Christman Law enforcement need to know how to interact with people who have Autism. I have a 20 year old Autistic grandson
Feb 15, 2017 Linda Piezga
Feb 15, 2017 Jennifer Hart
Feb 15, 2017 Nancy Bandy
Feb 15, 2017 Frances Johnson n/a
Feb 15, 2017 cheryll bennett
Feb 15, 2017 Laura Watson
Feb 15, 2017 (Name not displayed) This is one of my biggest fears. Please train officers to recognize spectrum traits and know that our children will repond differently in a stressful situation.
Feb 15, 2017 Paula Lovell One in 68 children has this disorder. We need to nourish their talents.

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