Plymouth Township police engage in autism training

Hadas Kuznits
April 25, 2018 - 3:38 pm
From left: Lt. Karen Mabry, Kristin Jackowski and Katie Greble

Hadas Kuznits | KYW Newsradio

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PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — The Plymouth Township Police Department partnered with The Center for Autism to learn more about handling people in the community with the disorder. 

Katie Greble from The Center For Autism ran an autism training seminar Wednesday morning for police officers so they can learn how to handle people on the autism spectrum in certain scenarios.

"Our main goal is just for them to have an overarching understanding of what autism is," she said, "and we hope that in a situation where they encounter someone with autism they can have an extra beat where they think how they can approach it."

Greble made officers do exercises to illustrate how the brain works for someone with autism works. She had them try to express the sentence "I love dogs," for example, without using the letter "O."

Lt. Karen Mabry said the training gave her a lot of insight and provided her with some tools.

"The little things, the nuances, the little tricks that they can teach us in dealing with people on the spectrum," she explained.

The Center for Autism trains police departments, or other organizations upon request, on the subject.

Kristin Jackowski, whose daughter is autistic, also attended the training. She said she was relieved to know police are taking the time to learn about autism spectrum disorders.

"My heart is full that they didn't wait for something bad to happen, that they're being proactive," she said.