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Redmond, WA: Police now "first autism-certified agency"

Oct 14, 2022, Kirkland (WA) Reporter: Redmond Police Department becomes the first autism-certified agency in WA

The Redmond Police Department is the first in the state to earn the Certified Autism Center designation. The certification is granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) to agencies that complete autism training.

“I’m proud of our staff’s dedication and commitment to completing this training to ensure we can compassionately serve all members of the Redmond community,” said Police Chief Darrell Lowe.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 44 children in the United States will be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)–a neurological disability caused by changes in the brain–while there continues to be a growing number of people who have sensory sensitivities or receive a later in life ASD diagnosis….

IBCCES’ law enforcement training and certification program reviews ways in which police officers can better understand and identify those who may be autistic, as well as ways to communicate with individuals who fall on the spectrum.

Chief Lowe reached out to IBCCES this past July because of the recognized need for Redmond police officers to receive this training to better assist all community members, said Jill Green, Public Information Officer for RPD….

The training completed by RPD is designed to enhance the officer’s knowledge and ability to assist and communicate with autistic or sensory-sensitive community members, while reducing the use of police force.

While RPD hired a full-time licensed mental health professional, Susie Kroll, in 2018 to co-respond to calls where social service connections; referrals; de-escalation; and assessment for behavioral health concerns that may be beneficial, Chief Lowe is proud of RPD’s dedication and commitment to ensuring all of Redmond’s community members are compassionately served….

Redmond’s new police chief Darrell Lowe stands outside the Redmond Police Department on Nov. 13. Lowe comes from Santa Monica PD, where he spent 27 years serving. Staff photo/Ashley Hiruko

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