From the Montgomery County Police Department:
The Montgomery County Police Department and Autism Speaks will host the second annual “Autism Night Out” Friday evening at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy in Rockville.
Police hope the event will provide valuable safety information to loved ones and be an opportunity for officers to lern from caregivers aboutautism.
The event will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 30, at the Public Safety Training Academy, 9710 Great Seneca Highway in Rockville. Caregivers, parents, children, family and community members who want to learn more about autism are welcome.
Activities will include:
- Specially trained search and rescue police officers (Montgomery County Police- Managed Search Operations Team) and fire and rescue personnel will demonstrate specialized equipment and answer questions
- Resources and tools to help keep children with autism safe
- Fun for the kids! Temporary Tattoos, Moon bounce, Face Painting
- Meet our K9s and their handlers
- Tour emergency vehicles (police cruiser, fire truck)
- Safety Sleep shirts available
- Tour school bus and talk with Montgomery County Public School Transportation personnel
- Information on Special Olympics, Therapuetic horseback riding, and swimming lessons
The police department runs a Project Lifesaver Program to address the problem of wandering. Caregivers are provided with information and tools to prevent episodes of wandering and officers will work with caregivers to implement those safety measures.
If necessary, the wandering individual may be outfitted with a personalized bracelet which emits a unique automatic tracking signal every second, 24 hours a day.
If the participant wanders, loved ones call 911. Officers then use radio frequency tracking equipment to locate the participant. Project Lifesaver officers are also specially trained in the methods necessary to communicate with a person who has these disorders.
The department also has a Managed Search Operations Team. On average, this team of about eight search and rescue officers coordinates and manages over 200 active searches for endangered missing persons a year, many involving missing people with autism. Caregivers, community members, and officers can work together to prevent wandering and ensure that individuals are quickly located if they do wander.
For more information about Autism Night Out or for assistance in dealing with wandering, contact Officer Laurie Reyes or Officer Tara Wimmer at 301-840-2788 or via e-mail (Laurie.Reyes@montgomerycountymd.gov or Tara.Wimmer@montgomerycountymd.gov)