According to a recent article in the Times Union, police officers across the state will begin receiving training on how to interact with and assist individuals who have developmental disabilities. Thanks in part to the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council’s executive director, the state was awarded a three-year grant worth $650,000 to work with.
Although training is optional for police officers, they have been highly encouraged to attend by Governor Cuomo. The training, conducted by Niagara University, will provide officers with an overarching knowledge of how to interact with aide individuals with varying types of disabilities.
As police officers are encouraged to take the time to learn more about the disabilities that affect so many people in New York, hopefully, it will create safer environments for the disabled community in our state. Unfortunately, New York police are not currently required to abide by any sort of code of behavior when working with people who have a mental illness or a developmental disability. Hopefully, however, the new training sessions will be a step in the right direction.
Sources: Times Union, “N.Y. rolls out police training for handling disabled,” April 21, 2013