The Lucas County Board of Disabilities hosts training for law enforcement

Published: Mar. 23, 2023 at 8:16 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) -The Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities hosted its Encounters with People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities training to help law enforcement better assess and address calls involving individuals with developmental disabilities.

“When I was a police officer, I started recognizing a miscommunication between law enforcement and individuals with disabilities. So I started working on some trainings myself with my brother, who has down syndrome,” said Diane Dudziak, developmental disabilities law enforcement specialist.

Dudziak told the class some people get upset if you’re in their space.

“When officers are approaching these individuals often, times, they are presenting, as neurotypical, which means they look like any other person. They don’t show physical traits of having a disability,” Dudziak added that individuals may present as “stimming.” " They’re trying to calm themselves down by using their arms or hands or facial features, and what those officers are seeing is presenting as something that might be like an attack indicator, that we might see in somebody that’s a suspect that’s dangerous to us. And those really look like each other,”

Dudziak said the agency aims to educate officers on the signs to ensure individuals receive the appropriate care.

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