About the Program
Does someone in your home have special needs? If so, you may be interested in the Yakima Police Department (YPD) Project Guardian. This is a program developed to help keep your loved one with special needs, including autism, safe. The program is based on Project Guardian developed by the Newport News (VA) Police Department.
The program is a free, voluntary, and confidential database offered, managed, and maintained by YPD for persons living within the City of Yakima.
Police often don’t know whether or not individuals they encounter have special needs because there aren’t any telltale physical signs. Flashing lights on an emergency vehicle, for example, might cause a person with special needs to become frightened and act out. Officers may not understand why some individuals with special needs will not make eye contact with them, keep their fists clenched, or flap their hands. What may seem like a simple interaction with police could be a very traumatic situation for a person with special needs and confusing to officers.
How It Works
When someone enrolls in the program, officers obtain their basic information, a current digital photograph, family emergency contact information, and other information that might help officers when encountering the individual. Once registered, you will be mailed a sticker and static cling to display in your home and vehicle window to alert officers of a potential person with special needs.
Enrollment is easy. Caregivers can register family members with special needs by completing the online application.
This program only covers the patrol area of the Yakima Police Department. Contact Sgt. Ryan Yates (email@example.com) if you have any questions.