The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department received more than 1,300 picture boards to better communicate with nonverbal individuals, which can include people with autism.
The Autism Society of Indiana purchased the boards with funding from the Autism Society of America and Today’s Champions. Each IMPD patrol officer will be equipped with a board that has pictures that people can point to, as well as a keyboard where they can type messages.
In addition to people who have autism and are nonverbal, the boards will help officers communicate with those who do not speak English or have cognitive issues, said IMPD Public Information Officer Shane Foley.
“Any opportunity that we have to better serve our community, particularly while partnering with community organizations is a win-win for everybody,” he said.
Foley said the Autism Society of Indiana has distributed the boards to other agencies across the state in addition to IMPD.
“We're not the first agency to do it but once we were given the opportunity we wanted to take advantage of it as soon as possible,” he said.