Does someone in your home have special needs? If so, you may be interested in the West Richland Police Department (WRPD) Project Guardian. This is a program developed to help keep your loved one with special needs, including autism, safe. The program is based on Project Guardian developed by the Newport News (VA) Police Department.
The program is a free, voluntary, and confidential database offered, managed, and maintained by WRPD for persons living within the City of West Richland.
Police often don’t know whether or not individuals they encounter have special needs because there aren’t any telltale physical signs. Flashing lights on an emergency vehicle, for example, might cause a person with special needs to become frightened and act out. Officers may not understand why some individuals with special needs will not make eye contact with them, keep their fists clenched, or flap their hands. What may seem like a simple interaction with police could be a very traumatic situation for a person with special needs and confusing to officers.
How It Works
When someone enrolls in the program, officers obtain their basic information, a current digital photograph, family emergency contact information, and other information that might help officers when encountering the individual. Once registered, you will be mailed a sticker and static cling to display in your home and vehicle window to alert officers of a potential person with special needs.
Enrollment is easy. Caregivers can register family members with special needs by completing the online application. This program only covers the patrol area of the West Richland Police Department. Contact Cmdr. Athena Clark if you have any questions.
Smart911 is a new app that provides additional information to 911 in the event of an emergency. It allows users to enter information about themselves and loved ones in a database that is accessible to emergency dispatchers around the country, including West Richland. This allows them to help you faster in an emergency. For more information and to register, please visit smart911.com.