Natasha Seaforth AFYI Administrator and Dr. Benjamin man the booth at NSA Winter Conference at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC. It was very well attended and AFYI met many organizations and Sheriffs from other states, anxious to partner and work with us to help educated their deputies and community about Autism. 

 

Dr. James Benjamin and NSA Executive Director Jonathan Thompson reconnect after a year since our last meeting. NSA continues to support AFYI in our endeavor to bring awareness to the Law enforcement community about Autism and the challenges it can present. 

 

Dr. Benjamin and Fred G. Wilson,MA  NSA Director of Outreach and Law Enforcement Relations share AFYI’s accomplishments and plans for the upcoming year. 

Landover Hills Chief of Police Henry Norris hosted the community’s Night Out event at the Station and Community Center. There was a pretty good turn out from the community. There was also the Bomb Squad and Vehicle, Motorcycle Squad,  Canine Police, and the local police to share fun, demonstrations, food and information with the community. AFYI was there to offer information to the community about the registry and how it can help .

Autism FYI Org was able to share the work we are doing and the benefits of the Registry with the Chiefs of Police from all the municipalities in Prince Georges County. Approximately 50 were in attendance. Our reception was warm and  there are plans for working together with training and support decals for officers. We appreciate the  work these Chiefs do and the many concerns they have to deal with to keep their organizations running smoothly and their communities safe. We look forward to working with all of them.

Prince George’s County Police Department

We want to thank Prince George’s County Police Department for coming to be part of a meet and greet at the One World for Autism’s event “Embrace our world” Saturday April 30th. It was quite successful and lots of families came out to support and celebrate those with Autism. What kind of world would we live in if every one was the same? Not nearly as good as when we are all different.

 


Thanks to Heery International, Inc.     for their Very generous donation from the offices in Landover Maryland as well as Annapolis, MD. We also thank Sherri Hamby for her time she spent with us volunteering at the wonderful event. We met lots of wonderful families and the police were very warm to our attendees. They even learned something about Autism by being there.

Mark Vernarelli, Director of Community Engagement of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services invited Dr. and Joyce Benjamin to speak with a panel of Parole and Probation Officers at their Headquarters in Reisterstown, MD. It was a very impressive team of managers and agents in various capacities and divisions. What started as informational about the AFYI’s National Registry, became more about awareness of the many aspects where safety of those on the Autism Spectrum, including those already in the criminal justice system,  needs to be addressed. How do we accommodate our Autism Population when they break the law? Is general population jail really the only place to hold someone who continues to break the law, but is wired in such a way that punishment doesn’t deter the behavior. Instead, jail sets them up to be a victim. Seclusion worsens their social skills for when they are released back into society. Those with Autism learn differently and need frequent reminders of rules, laws, and social expectations. As AFYI Org expands its  awareness of safety issues confronting those on the Autism Spectrum, we will seek to bring awareness to those in power who can address these needs. We are very appreciative of this opportunity to learn more about what is currently being done, and the opportunity to assist those who can address the needs.