Members of the Hopkinton Police Department received training from Sergeant Ryan Roettger of the Southbridge Police Department in working with people with autism or individuals with special needs. Sergeant Roettger mentioned to the class that a large portion of his experience comes from the fact that he has a 6 year old daughter who suffers from severe disabilities. Roettger informed the class on what to be aware of, he mentioned that the number one cause of death among autistic people is drowning; "if there is a wandering child or adult that is missing, that would be the first primary focus."
The class talked about proper ways of restraining, properly blocking the child or adult so they don't run into traffic and what signs to look for. "Arrest is the last option here, there is a lot of other options besides arrest" Roettger mentioned anyone can benefit from this training especially those who work in the community such as teachers and police officers.
In the video below HCAM's Mike Torosian talked with Sgt. Ryan Roettger, Hopkinton Police Officer Steve Buckley and Carolyn Hyman who is working with organizations to raise autism awareness.