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Goal: 30,000 Progress: 13,633
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

Oct 20, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 19, 2017 Shannon Dal Santo All law enforcement need to be aware. Unless you have been with a Autistic child you have no idea what to expect and need to be aware.
Oct 19, 2017 Jennifer Miller
Oct 18, 2017 Lyssa Twomey
Oct 18, 2017 Tim Young
Oct 18, 2017 Nancy Collins
Oct 18, 2017 Kerry Roberts To many people with autism are misunderstood and are ending up in the jails, with no understanding of whats going on or happening. It's not right on all all levels (its a disability that very much misunderstood
Oct 18, 2017 John W. Rumery Jr
Oct 18, 2017 Lana LaRochelle
Oct 18, 2017 Peter Rogan I hate to see law enforcement burdened with more training, but with the modern protocol to use handguns and avoid physical confrontation the risk of a lethal result from encountering someone behaving 'strangely' grows markedly.
Oct 18, 2017 Annicka Chetty
Oct 18, 2017 Dave Mattozzi
Oct 18, 2017 Ivy Hoang
Oct 18, 2017 Edgar Locklear
Oct 18, 2017 Nyree Johnstone
Oct 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 16, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 16, 2017 Jed Shanabrook Keep up the good work.
Oct 16, 2017 Charlene Wilsey
Oct 12, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 12, 2017 Amanda Craigo
Oct 12, 2017 Iryna Andreychuk
Oct 10, 2017 Heather Atchison
Oct 10, 2017 Breeanna Burns
Oct 10, 2017 Peggy Mckinney Please, please
Oct 10, 2017 Amanda Albrecht This training is absolutely needed there's too many stories of children with autism and other mental conditions
Oct 10, 2017 Janell Meyer
Oct 9, 2017 Larisa Cutie
Oct 9, 2017 Denise Moseley My son is five and newly diagnosed. I believe the responders could really benefit from knowing what they can about autism.
Oct 9, 2017 Candace Greer
Oct 9, 2017 Envinia Quinones
Oct 9, 2017 Jennifer McCollough
Oct 9, 2017 Leslie Mooney
Oct 3, 2017 Fairuza Sharifa
Oct 2, 2017 Jill Handley
Oct 2, 2017 Sarah Khatib
Oct 1, 2017 Courtney Vrooman
Oct 1, 2017 Barbara Yattaw
Oct 1, 2017 Jodi Cunningham
Oct 1, 2017 Megan Ahigian
Oct 1, 2017 Deborah Pedersen
Oct 1, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 1, 2017 Nicole Melville
Oct 1, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 1, 2017 Elitsa Molles
Oct 1, 2017 Andrea Mullenmeister
Oct 1, 2017 (Name not displayed)
Oct 1, 2017 Beth Simpson This is essential to save lives and ensure that the police can serve and protect ALL citizens!!
Oct 1, 2017 Cynthia Hotchkiss This training would be good for all concerned as many officers want to help but are not sure of which steps to take in given situations.
Oct 1, 2017 Jan Hull

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