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Mayor Adams Signs Legislation Requiring NYPD to Train Officers on How to Interact With People With Autism Spectrum Disorder

May 11, 2023

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New York – New York City Mayor Eric Adams today signed Intro. 273-B, which will require the New York City Police Department (NYPD) to provide training to officers on how to recognize and interact with people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

"Equipping 'New York's Finest' with the tools to better interact with people with autism spectrum disorder is critical to advancing safety and justice for all New Yorkers," said Mayor Adams. "The legislation we are signing today will ensure the NYPD continues to serve all communities across our city fairly and equitably, and we thank Councilmember Narcisse for her partnership."

"Public safety depends on the respectful and fair treatment of all communities, and the Adams administration is committed to advancing that mission across our entire public safety apparatus," said Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Philip Banks III. "This legislation will help us build on the gains we have made under Mayor Adams and ensure New York City remains the safest big city in America."

"The women and men of the New York City Police Department are fully dedicated to our mission of enhancing public safety by meeting the needs of everyone we serve," said NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. "This new training will inform and educate our officers about the expression of autism spectrum disorder, and provide practical guidance about recognizing and interacting with people with autism."

Intro. 273-B – sponsored by New York City Councilmember Mercedes Narcisse – will require the NYPD to provide officers with training related to recognizing and interacting with individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The training will include enhancing awareness and a practical understanding of autism spectrum disorder, development of the interpersonal skills to safely respond to emergencies involving someone with autism spectrum disorder, and instruction on interview and investigative techniques to utilize in cases involving individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The legislation takes effect immediately.

"Police interactions with New Yorkers with ASD are inevitable," said New York City Councilmember Mercedes Narcisse. "New Yorkers with ASD have unique needs, and at times, their behavior and mannerisms can be misinterpreted as an act of aggression or non-compliance. This new law will fully train our police officers on how best to approach and engage with people on the autism spectrum. This will lead to safer outcomes for all parties involved. I thank Mayor Adams for signing the bill into law."

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