SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Springfield Police Department works to improve the interactions between officers and those with specialized needs.
A new program allows residents to pick up emergency alert stickers from Police Headquarters (321 E. Chestnut Expressway) that can be placed on the windows of homes or vehicles.
The stickers, provided at no cost to the public, will notify first responders of an occupant who may have specialized needs that could create a barrier to communication. They are offering three stickers to identify those with the following needs:
- “Dementia or Alzheimer’s”
- “Deaf or Hard of Hearing”
- “Autism or Special Needs”
According to the Springfield Police Department, off of their officers receive training on how to support people with invisible disabilities that could be misinterpreted and cause communication hurdles. SPD also has specially trained Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) officers available to assist in these types of situations. The purpose of the emergency alert stickers is to supplement those existing efforts.
“Officers and other first responders need to be as prepared as possible when walking into an emergency situation and every second matters,” said Police Chief Paul Williams. “The emergency alert stickers will hopefully prevent miscommunication and quickly give officers important information so they can adjust their approach to best serve the specific needs of every individual.”
Any individual or business who may find the stickers helpful is invited to pick one up at Police Headquarters. Stickers are also available at the following locations:
- Empower: Abilities, 2864 S. Nettleton Ave
- Arc of the Ozarks, 1501 E Pythian
- The Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Center, 1302 W Sunset St.
- Ozark Technical College Disability Support Services