Alton police launches new response program for people with disabilities
Alton police on Monday launched a new program aimed at helping people with disabilities in an emergency.
The initiative called the "Take Me Home program" aims to reunite families with their loved ones with disabilities in the event they go missing.
“This program is intended to assist us in responding to individuals who have disabilities, individuals who have autism, Down syndrome or our elderly community if they have Alzheimer’s or dementia,” said Alton police Chief Jonathan Flores. "It allows us, instead of having the officer go to the residence and take down that information and then disseminate it, it cuts that time lapse out,” Flores continued.
To sign up, you must fill out three pages at the police department. The forms ask for basic info like height, weight, blood type, disability, identifying marks, as well as the best emergency contacts. Once the forms are filled out, Alton police will take their picture. All information is confidential.
Flores says having information about cognitive or developmental disabilities also reduces the possibility of a use of force incident.
"It allows us to go into the situation knowing in advance what we're dealing with and allows us to respond accordingly,” Flores said. “That type of information is invaluable to avoid any kind of misunderstanding between law enforcement and our community who may have a special need."
To register your loved one in the “Take Me Home program” call the Alton Police Department at 956-432-0700.