The Lynnwood Police Department is hosting a free Cops for Inclusion event on Saturday, April 23 designed exclusively for families with children on the autism spectrum. The goal is to help families become more familiar and feel safer around police officers before there is an emergency. This event, which runs from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., will allow for interactions in a sensory-inclusive environment.
Families can rotate through seven different stations. Inside, you’ll learn about pedestrian safety, fingerprinting, police robots and what’s on a police vest. Outside, you’ll get to meet K9 Chase (from a distance), see what’s inside patrol vehicles, and watch a drone in action. Register for an hour block of time — your time at each station will be approximately 10 minutes. Children will be given a goody bag at the start of the event and collect items at each station to take home at the end of the day. Fresh fruit and other healthy snacks will be provided.
Some children are sensitive to loud noises and flashing lights, so two time slots are designated during which there will be no operation of any lights, sirens, or equipment. Those blocks are indicated on the registration form. A SNO911 dispatcher with two children on the autism spectrum will be providing information and helping interested families sign-up for Smart911. A Lynnwood patrol officer will be available to answer questions about responding to your calls.
Licensed behavior health professionals are helping the police department create an environment in which families feels safe and welcome. There is even a “quiet room” inside the venue for those needing to step away from the action. Families can skip any station that doesn’t work for them.