Maine law enforcement will start a new program this week that would enable officers to better communicate with people with disabilities or a cognitive impairment.
Police officers deal with a huge variety of challenges in any given day, including coming across people that they may have a difficult time talking to and/or understanding. For instance, if an officer were to come across someone with disabilities who appears to in distress. The person may be able to tell the officer their name, or may have identification on them, but may not be able to explain where they live, or whether they're in trouble.
The Contact Person Program will help with that, supplying the officers with someone they can call. Legal guardians or family members can sign up as the designated contact to help the officer with the information they can't obtain from the person in question. It could be something as simple as their address, or something as serious as a need for medication.
Representative Dan Costain, who's a retired police officer, sponsored the proposal that was passed into law in 2019. He worked with Winslow Police Chief Leonard Macdaid to develop the program that would help people with disabilities or impairments.
It's important to note that the program will kick off on Tuesday, June 22nd, so wait another day before calling to sign up. The Department of Public Safety has developed the database and has implemented the program, that will be administered by the Maine State Police. However, signing up for the voluntary, free, and confidential Contact Person Program is as easy as stopping by any police department in Maine. Again, it will go into service, starting on Tuesday, June 22nd, 2021.
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