Waycross police launch program to calm kids in emergencies

By Brittany Muller - Reporter

WAYCROSS, Ga. - The Waycross Police Department is encouraging families with children living with special needs to take part in its new initiative.

In partnership with Ware County 911, if a child wanders off, authorities would be able to identify the child, calm him or her down and then contact the parents.

Police officers have undergone specialized training in dealing with autism. The program is entirely voluntary. 

You can register your child with the police department and give information that will allow the agency to specifically deal with your child in the case of an emergency.

The information deals with contacts and calming techniques so that if police have contact with the child in an emergency situation, they're equipped to properly assist them.

The information will then be given to 911 so an officer who encounters the child or young adult will be able to understand the situation and adjust to calm and communicate successfully. 

“Unfortunately many behaviors exhibited by persons with autism in the past have been seen as aggressive or even threatening," the agency said. "This program's entire goal is to try and provide the officer the best information for a successful outcome with your family."

If you are interested in registering your child, you can visit the Waycross Police headquarters at 512 Oak Street.

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.