On Thursday, Jill Campbell, President of the Autism Society of the Keys (ASK), donated 20 new autism boxes to the Key West Police Department.
"We want to be sure that every police car has a box in it," she told Chief Sean Brandenburg as she presented the boxes.
The contents of the boxes are a collection of items aimed at de-escalating an interaction between an officer and an autistic individual during stressful situations. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. The boxes contain a variety of tactile objects to soothe stress and a notepad for someone who is non-verbal.
"The Department has had great success implementing the autism sensory boxes," said Chief Brandenburg. "With this success, ASK has provided more sensory boxes to ensure every patrol car will carry them."
The awareness campaign is part of an ongoing effort by the department to serve members of the community with special needs.
In the photo: Sgt. Joe Stockton, Lt. Jason Castillo, Lt. Bradley Lariz, ASK President Jill Campbell, Chief Sean Brandenburg, Lt. Matt Haley, and Capt. Randy Smith.