MUSCATINE — West Liberty Police will host a free crisis intervention training for first responders on a topic where continuing education isn't often available.
Police Chief Kary Kinmonth said the Friday training on how to respond to people with autism is important because after initial training at the law enforcement academy, responders don't have much follow-up training on interacting with those with special needs.
"In my case, I have been a police officer for 28 years," Kinmonth said, "I have never had any continuing education on it."
This will be the first time the department is offering the training, which is scheduled for 10-11:15 a.m. at the West Liberty Community Center, 1204 N. Calhoun St. The program will define autism, review symptoms, and include discussion of personal and family perspectives and tips for in the field.
The autism safety initiative is offered in coordination with the autism center at the University of Iowa Children's Hospital, and autism advocacy groups. Several guest speakers will present information and answer questions.
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WLPD will also present a nearly $3,000 donation to the autism center. The department raised the money through sales of a special edition WLPD autism patch.
Kinmonth said he wants every first responder to know they can attend the free training.
"We have some great presenters," he said, "and I promise you will walk out of the training better prepared."
For questions or more information, email Kary Kinmonth at firstname.lastname@example.org. Casey's pizza will also be provided.