West Virginia will hold a statewide training initiative to provide training to law enforcement officers to safely navigate interactions with those with an autism spectrum disorder.

The Safe Interactions for Law Enforcement and Persons with Intellectual or Development Disabilities training will launch on June 13.

According to First Sergeant K.G. Murray of the West Virginia State Police, ‘The need for Law Enforcement officer training on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is critical for 21st century policing. As parents of a young adult and teen with ASD, it is the hope of my wife and me that ASD awareness training is a highly effective educational tool for all Law Enforcement in West Virginia, where most of our encounters with those with ASD are positive. Through this training, West Virginia can be the light for the rest of the nation to follow when it comes to ASD training and education for Law Enforcement and all first responders.’

The training is four hours and will be at no cost to all current active-duty law enforcement officers. Officers may receive four in-service education credits for their participation.

The training sites will be:

  • Berkeley County: June 13,14,15 and 16
  • Marion County: June 14 and 15

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability caused by differences in the brain. People with ASD may behave, communicate, interact, and learn in ways that are different from most other people, according to the CDC.