The Chattanooga Police Department is launching Take Me Home, a free program designed to assist law enforcement during contacts with adults and children in the community who have disabilities such as autism, Alzheimer’s, dementia or other cognitive or developmental disabilities.
Take Me Home was developed by a Pensacola, Florida, police officer.
A Chattanooga firefighter who has a child with autism is credited with bringing the program to the attention of the CPD.
“When I first saw the Take Me Home software at an autism workshop for first responders, I knew it was something that would benefit families in and around Chattanooga,” says CFD Captain Skyler Phillips.
Take Me Home will help the CPD better serve the needs of those with certain disabilities by bridging communication between those individuals and first responders.
Enrollment in the confidential database gives the CPD access to critical information that can help officers respond to a person who’s unable to speak properly identify themselves or help a person who acts in a manner that could be misinterpreted by first responders.
“Having a photo of an individual, a summary of known behaviors and emergency contact information for a community member with special needs at our fingertips can help officers better communicate with and reunite them with their loved ones sooner,” says CPD Chief David Roddy.
The Center for Disease Control estimates nearly one in 68 American children have autism spectrum disorder.
This means encounters with police and other first responders in emergency situations are going to occur.
Participation in Take Me Home is voluntary, and all information collected is kept confidential.
Caregivers can enroll family members, friends or clients with special needs at www.tmh.chattanooga.gov or through the Chattanooga Police Department mobile app.
Information: www.chattanooga.gov/police-department/take-me-home, firstname.lastname@example.org