In recognition of Autism Acceptance Month, the University of Michigan Division of Public Safety and Security (DPSS) will be participating in a couple of public events to help spread awareness and acceptance throughout our communities.
Our UM-Flint officers will be hosting Officer Friendly Day on Saturday, April 23 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the UM-Flint parking lot at the intersection of Saginaw St. and 5th Ave. In addition, our UM-Flint officers completed a local Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) pilot training program last summer.
“A large part of our job has nothing to do with enforcing the law; it’s caring for our community, and individuals diagnosed with autism are part of that community,” says Ray Hall, Director of Public Safety at UM-Flint.
Next month, the Xavier Degroat Foundation will be hosting a fundraising event with guest speaker Coach Jim Harbaugh on Wednesday, May 18, starting at 5 p.m. at the Michigan Union.
DPSS has worked closely with the Xavier Degroat Foundation to guide DPSS officers to learn about autism and techniques to aid officers in enhancing their interactions with individuals with ASD. DPSS also visited the state capitol in 2021 along with the Xavier Degroat Foundation and other police agencies across the state to support the signing of three bills to help facilitate safer and more informed interactions between police officers and individuals with ASD.
DPSS is dedicated to respecting differences, equitable practices, and intentional inclusion to create an environment where our community feels welcomed and safe. These values are uplifted throughout the hiring process and continued training of our officers and staff. One regular area of focus, among many, is our continued training and support of ASD acceptance and awareness.
If you would like to learn more about autism, please visit: autism-society.org/what-is/