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Capitol Correspondence - 03.23.21

NADD Position Statement: Strengthening Relationships Between Police and People with I/DD

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Our members have shared with us that the interactions of people they support with the police often lead to avoidable arrests or violence, in part because police are not equipped or trained to respond to people with disabilities and mental illness. In light of this, and the intersection with broader conversations surrounding police brutality, we share this advocacy position statement by NADD’s Family Voices Committee. The statement lays out statistics surrounding police interactions with people with disabilities and/or mental illness, and then puts forth recommendations on:

  • Police training.
  • Robust crisis response systems.
  • Collaborative planning teams.
  • CIT availability.
  • Communications practices such as:
    • Positive family communications practices.
    • Knowledge of tools and supports to accommodate individuals’ different communication abilities.
    • Understanding of physical, mental, or neurological disabilities that are not visible but can affect a person’s behavior.
  • Effective use of medical and behavioral health profile registries to guide appropriate crisis response by 911 operators, first responders, and crisis intervention staff.
  • Understanding of why restraint techniques should be a last resort to avoid physical harm and long-lasting trauma.