Special Needs Registry (Synopsis)

Taber Police Service

Description: In late 2013, the Taber Police Service created the Special Needs Registry, a program designed to allow parents/guardians to voluntarily register an individual with the police, identifying him or her as having special needs. Working with the Taber Special Needs Society, these parents/guardians can enter into the registry the address and individual’s profile (e.g., "uncommunicative") as well as recommended strategies for police and emergency responders to use when determining an intervention approach (based on personal issues and typical reactions). Examples of tragedies involving special needs persons in emergency situations across the country led the Taber Police Service to develop the registry. Some data management rules related to privacy will need to be interpreted liberally to make entries possible and accessible.
Objective: The main objective of the initiative is to enable decision making based on knowledge rather than assumptions. The registry will make police and other emergency responders aware of communication issues, exhibited phobias and expected reactions to actions, noises or other triggers that the special needs registrants might have. The Taber Police Service hopes to generate successful responses when dealing with crises involving people with special needs.
Outcomes: The initiative is still very new, however the Taber Police Service sees a strengthening of the community’s trust in police services. Once the registry becomes more developed and used, it should result in increased public and personal safety and positive interactions continued with special needs.
Resources: Setting up the initiative only involved minimal costs for activities such as organizing meetings, researching and producing an information pamphlet, and setting up the workflow.
Province: Alberta
Record Entry Date: 2015-03-01
Date modified: