BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Norfolk County Sheriff's Office is offering the community special seat belt covers for passengers on the autism spectrum.
According to Norfolk Sheriff Jerry McDermott, the department gave out more than 1,200 seat belt covers in its pilot program, and they're having more made that will read 'I have autism, I may resist help.'
The covers were created in collaboration with several autism-related non-profits, including The Arc of South Norfolk.
McDermott said it's a simple way to alert first responders to a person being on the autism spectrum during an emergency when they are trying to get someone out of a vehicle.
"We thought, how can law enforcement be more aware and sensitive to people who are on the spectrum?" McDermott said. "Because often times you hear about police or correction officers who are involved in someone on the autism spectrum, and sometimes it doesn't end well because they think that person is being disrespectful or not obeying orders."
12 of Norfolk County's 28 police department are now handing out the seat belt covers, including in Millis, Needham, Holbrook, Dedham, Avon, Weymouth, Norwood, Stoughton, and Sharon.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports: