The Barnegat Police Department is participating in a new autism awareness initiative.
As part of the initiative, all officers are receiving autism training provided by POAC (Parents of Autistic Children) through their Autism Shield program. The training teaches officers how to identify autistic individuals and how to best interact with and assist them.
In addition, the department has added an alert field to its computer aided dispatch system that will notify dispatchers and officers that an autistic individual resides at an address to which officers are dispatched.
The initiative is the result of a suggestion made by an area resident who is the parent of an autistic child, according to a press release from the township.
Parents or family members who wish to have someone added to the police department's autism notification system should contact the department at 609-698-5000.