The goals of You&Me are to keep our special needs citizens safe, help them view police officers as helpers, and unite the community to support independence and safety for those at risk for atypical experiences within the community.
As the mother of an autistic young adult, Project Community board member Susan Deland has often worried over the years about her daughter Diane. “There have been various situations since Diane was a little girl where the police have been involved with finding her after she escaped from our home,” said Susan. “This led me to informally speak to the Pelham police to familiarize them with her photo and her particular idiosyncrasies. I have often thought we needed to do this more formally, as a community, and I am thrilled they can automate this data with it readily accessible to the officers, should the need arise.”
How It Works
Volunteer Registry – Safety will be facilitated by information provided by families, on a volunteer basis, for a registry to be kept by both Pelham and Pelham Manor Police Departments. This registry will feature pertinent information, including a photo as well as description of unique behavioral characteristics. Police officers will have immediate technological access to this information while they are in the field. This registry will help to mitigate dangerous encounters that can be triggered by a lack of familiarity with special needs citizens.
How To Register
Registry is simple and handled by the local police departments.
1. Call the department of your choice and ask to schedule an appointment to register for You&Me:
Pelham Police 914-738-2000
Pelham Manor Police 914-738-1000.
2. Show up for your appointment with your loved one. An officer will help you register. Photos will be taken during your visit.
How Information Is Used
Local police will have immediate access to the registry database while they are in the field. Should a situation arise where they need to assist, or reunite a special needs citizen with their family, officers will be able to mitigate interactions while using the data provided. This can help minimize challenges due to lack of familiarity, ensuring positive outcomes.
How Community Is Involved
- Designated Community Safe Spaces – Businesses that have been identified as a “safe space” are displaying our You&Me decal in their window. These businesses have been given a packet with relevant information on their role as a partner of the You&Me program. This includes a description of unique behavior issues they may encounter, how to help should a need arise, and a kit with supplies such as fidget spinners, water, pretzels, etc.
- Community Awareness Sessions – Awareness sessions will be offered by Project Community experts for schools and community organizations to promote awareness and a united community. These awareness sessions will promote community understanding of our citizens with autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome, anxiety, depression, etc. The emphasis of a united community is to promote the health of everyone through informed and sensitive interactions resulting in a stronger sense of belonging.
- Community Advisory Board – The board’s goal is to promote optimum success for a very important segment of our community, and to ensure greater pride in the ability of all community members to help one another.