During the past month, officers with the Morgan City Police Department have begun to learn about Autism in an effort to better recognize the various ways to identify and interact with people who fall within the Autism Spectrum Disorder as defined by the DSM-V. Autism is sometimes unrecognized as a child matures to adulthood. Autism, when misidentified, can lead to communication issues and other problems. By learning to recognize autism and related conditions, officers can be better prepared to cope with issues, help those in need, and to ensure for the safety of the subject as well as the officer.
Chief James F. Blair has required all officers to complete specific training to recognize the various characteristics and behaviors of autism and improve coping skills.
On Tuesday, August 13, 2019, the training continued with an interactive presentation given to Morgan City Officers by St. Mary educators. Ms. Colleen Hammonds and Mrs. Sarah Theriot introduced Morgan City Officers to Autism to follow up on previous internet training. Officers then met their assistant, an autistic child who was introduced and interacted with the officers. In this case, the student became the teacher. Officers learned different communication techniques and methods to better recognize and help an autistic person in need.
Autism affects many families throughout the Morgan City area. Chief Blair, with this required training, hopes to emphasize the need to better understand those issues which present themselves to our officers on a routine basis. The Morgan City Police Department would like to extend thanks to Ms. Hammonds and Mrs. Theriot for their help and assistance. The training was encouraging and positive to all those who attended.