Author Topic: Ottawa police moving its autism registry to MedicAlert  (Read 199 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

One Veteran One Standard

  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • **********
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
Ottawa police moving its autism registry to MedicAlert
« on: May 16, 2018, 07:12:37 PM »
Ottawa police moving its autism registry to MedicAlert

A decade after establishing a registry for people with autism, Ottawa police are planning to hand off the job to MedicAlert. The voluntary registry is available to officers who might be called to respond to someone with autism, whose behaviour, be it violent or just unusual, can frequently result in a police encounter. The registry […]

A decade after establishing a registry for people with autism, Ottawa police are planning to hand off the job to MedicAlert.


The voluntary registry is available to officers who might be called to respond to someone with autism, whose behaviour, be it violent or just unusual, can frequently result in a police encounter. The registry gives officers information on the person’s background, likes and dislikes, unusual behaviour as well as suggestions for the best way to calm him or her.


But that information is only available to Ottawa police, which is why police have chosen to partner with MedicAlert, which has global reach.


“The shortcoming with our internal registry is that it was only available locally,” said Zoye Poulin, a civilian with Ottawa police. “If you travelled to Toronto or Kingston, the information that was housed with us wasn’t easily or readily accessible should your son or daughter wander off.


ALSO‘Meet Kiara’: Stittsville mom ‘goes public’ about daughter’s special needs


“The information housed with MedicAlert is international. You could go to Germany and they would have immediate access to the information you provided.”


About 1,200 people are listed on the Ottawa registry, which also includes family contact information and a photo of the individual. Over the next few months, those families will be notified about the switchover. There is a $60 annual administration fee for MedicAlert, but that can be waived or reduced for families that can’t afford it. The Ottawa police registry was free.


MedicAlert will also be in touch with families annually to update information. Families already registered with Ottawa police will get their first year with MedicAlert for free.


“We’ll maintain all our information for a year after the families are notified,” Poulin said. “We’re not going to just delete everything.”


Under the new system, when an officer runs a person’s name, a note will appear to say that person is registered with MedicAlert, which has agreed to let Ottawa police access its information.


“We hear from officers every week who say it’s amazing. It reduces the stress levels when responding to a call that appears to be a dangerous call, but it turns out that it’s not,” Poulin said.


One person on the registry often goes to malls and attracts the attention of security. The person is also extremely sensitive to being touched, which can result in a confrontation.


“Then, all of a sudden, police are involved,” Poulin said. Officers know from the registry the ways they can soothe the person.


“They’ll just say, ‘C’mon, let’s go get a juice,’ and it all calms down.”


For more information on the autism registry, visit ottawapolice.ca or call 236-1222 ext 5011.


Source: Ottawa police moving its autism registry to MedicAlert