Chattanooga police launch "Take Me Home" program to better serve people with disabilities
The Chattanooga Police Department (CPD) has launched a free new program to help officers better serve the needs of people with disabilities.
"Take Me Home" is designed to assist law enforcement in emergencies when they interact with people with disabilities like Autism or Dementia.
These individuals may be unable to speak, properly identify themselves, or may act in ways that could be misinterpreted by first responders.
"Individuals with autism wandering off is a critical concern for families. The Take Me Home program is an essential tool for law enforcement and will save lives in our community," said Roddey Coe, Vice President, Chattanooga Autism Center.
The system includes a current picture, demographic information, and caregiver contacts.
If a police officer encounters someone in the system, they can locate their records and use the information to help that person.
Chattanooga firefighter Skyler Phillips has a child with autism, and brought the program to CPD's attention.
"So if they run across someone nonverbal who can't tell them their name, they can input that information into the software or onto the website and it will pull up a list of everyone who meets that criteria," says Phillips.
The database is voluntary, confidential and free.