San Diego sheriff launches program to improve interaction with people who have disabilities | KPBS Public Media

The sheriff’s department is adopting a new strategy to improve interactions with people who have disabilities. People with disabilities are more likely to be arrested or killed by law enforcement…

Full story: San Diego sheriff launches program to improve interaction with people who have disabilities | KPBS Public Media

3 Replies to “San Diego sheriff launches program to improve interaction with people who have disabilities | KPBS Public Media”

  1. What happens if individuals with disabilities forget to carry their blue envelope identification? A lot is riding on their ability to have these symbols carrying the logos at the ready, and many people, including myself, may forget to carry these important items with them on a daily basis. For individuals managing conditions like diabetes, the unpredictability of blood sugar levels can make it exceedingly difficult to plan daily activities or interactions with law enforcement effectively. The fear of experiencing a sudden health crisis or breakdown adds an extra layer of stress and uncertainty, making it essential for society to implement supportive measures like the blue envelope program to ensure the safety and well-being of these individuals. On another note, not carrying around this blue envelope identification can make situations more stressful for police officers who may not be as trained on the matter as they should. It can be a difficult and very traumatic ordeal for neurodivergent individuals when it comes to communicating with law enforcement, which may cause confusion or misunderstandings. This can not only be a risk for the individual’s safety, but also police officers may not see the blue envelope identification as an effective step in the right direction. While, personally, I believe this is a great way to get started, ensuring everyone who needs this will know to carry the blue envelope around with them at all times or will even fill out the blue envelope identification is a big ask, and one that could have some serious consequences.

  2. While this is a step in the right direction when it comes to interactions between the police and those with disabilities, what of the police officers’ actual training? It is mentioned near the end of the article that the departments are rolling out more training for the officers, but what kind of training? For something like this, it isn’t as simple as having a workshop that takes place for a day; this is something that they should be learning about on an ongoing basis.

    A lot of stigmas and stereotypes are placed on those with disabilities, and while making it easier for officers to recognize said disabilities is important, it also makes it easier for some officers to immediately associate their own preconceived stereotype or stigma on that person, which can then lead to a less than pleasant stop (at the very least). Educating those officers on how to make the interaction easier for themselves and someone with a disability can make these unfortunate and sometimes deadly interactions easier and safer for everyone involved.

    1. Jirah, in response to the first part of your comment, basic law enforcement training, spends a substantial amount of time on how to interact with people with disabilities. It covers almost everything from how to recognize a disability to providing medical attention to those with a disability. I agree that there should be ongoing training for officers on how to interact with individuals with disabilities, the block in BLET will likely be difficult to remember especially if officers are not interacting with disabled individuals on a regular basis. Maybe annual or biannual training would be effective in reducing the number of negative experiences disabled individuals have with law enforcement.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *