Great Barrington Police Department

Great Barrington police will train officers to learn to recognize and interact with people who have autism. April is National Autism Awareness Month. 

GREAT BARRINGTON — Town police will hold a series of trainings this month to guide them when interacting with people who are autistic.

The expansion of training in the Great Barrington Police Department is in response to April being National Autism Awareness month, according to Police Chief Paul Storti, who issued a release this week.

Storti said that the training will help officers learn how to identify people who are autistic and how to interact with them, and that a local group is helping in the effort.

"We are grateful to The Stanton Home, a residential program for people with disabilities, who has provided the police department with a resource manual focused on assisting officers when interacting with individuals at their homes," he wrote. "This resource includes educational components to help officers understand their clients and to help communicate with them in a more effective manner."

The effort is another way that Storti says the department is reaching into a diverse community and attempting to support all residents and "provide exceptional service to everyone."

The department has a form on its website for residents who want police to know that a member of their household is autistic.