Michigan State Police to carry “calming bags” in their patrol cars

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Mich. (WLNS) Flashing lights and sirens can frighten anyone, especially people with autism.

April is Autism Awareness Month, Michigan State Police are teaming up with the Autism Alliance of Michigan to educate themselves on how to find ways to make situations less stressful for anyone with special needs.

Lieutenant Sarah Krebs says, “calming bags are going in all the patrol car trucks of the agencies that are participating for autism and they’re filled with sensory items and things that would make a stressful situation a little bit better.”

The calming bags will include sunglasses, stress balls, stickers , and non-verbal cue cards.
MSP officials say troopers will also be receiving 2 hours of training on how to deal with people on the autism spectrum.

“How to be patient how to ask questions slower and one at a time waiting for a response instead of asking multiple repetitive questions that might stress out a situation,” says Lieutenant Krebs

The push is something that most people say was a long time coming.

“All these families deserve to have officers that are empathetic to that and that understand and be a lot more patient with that person just because they have this special need doesn’t mean we cant communicate with them.”

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