New ‘Contact Person Program’ To Help Authorities & Folks W/Disabilities
Maine implemented a new "Contact Person Program" this week, with the hope that it will help law enforcement agencies better deal with folks with mental and physical disabilities.
Created by a retired police officer, and passed into law a few years back, the program is based on pretty simple concept; folks with disabilities can designate someone in their life to be a "contact person" (kind of like go-between if necessary) to help the individuals and police better communicate and resolve issues safely and peacefully.
According to the Maine State Police:
"When a person with disabilities or cognitive impairment encounters a law enforcement officer, they can have a difficult time communicating pertinent information. This barrier can create a significant challenge for officers trying to help the individual. The confidential database would provide law enforcement officers with contact information voluntarily provided by an individual or a legal guardian who signs up for the program."
For example, if you're a veteran who struggles with PTSD triggers, appointing someone who has knowledge of this and could help you communicate that point and other helpful information to law enforcement members (should they ever be involved in a situation) could be incredibly beneficial.
Or if you have a loved one who is on the Autism Spectrum, and they have an issue involving the police, their designated contact person could be called in to assist.
The program went live this week. Anyone wishing to volunteer to be part in the program, which is free and confidential, can contact any police department in Maine to set themselves up.
Here's the Full List of Missing Persons Cases in Maine