First responders already have a very difficult job.

Most of the time, they're going in blind to a situation that is probably one of the worst moments of someone's life. In that sometimes chaotic situation, mistakes have happened. It is heartbreaking to read about these instances that happen when they involve individuals with special needs.

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The Cheshire Police Department took to their social media yesterday in an effort to proactively address this situation with Cheshire residents.

The Cheshire Police Department is preparing to update their computer dispatch system database, to include information gained from a questionnaire that they are asking Cheshire residents with special needs to fill out.

The ultimate goal of this is to over-inform responding Police, Fire, and EMT's with current/accurate information and give them the information they need to respond to your emergency with care, respect, and professionalism.

I took a look at the questionnaire, it's 3 pages and very thorough. It addresses preferred methods of communication for non-verbal individuals, medical conditions, which medications they may be taking, sensory, medical, or dietary issues, asks if the individual has an inclination for wandering, or their atypical behavior, even approach and de-escalation techniques.

If you've already completed one of these forms in the past, Cheshire PD would appreciate an update. The questionnaire may be mailed, e-mailed or dropped off at Cheshire PD headquarters at 500 Highland Ave. If you have any questions, you can contact Cheshire PD Officer Gretchen Ovesny at 203-271-5576, or e-mail Govesny@cheshirect.org. Nice job Cheshire PD and Officer Ovesny.

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