Free voluntary identification bracelets available for residents with non-visible disabilities
The Highland Park Police Department now offers free, voluntary identification bracelets for residents with non-visible disabilities in an effort to provide an enhanced level of safety to our most vulnerable residents. Occasionally, officers are called upon to address incidents where a person cannot communicate who they are or where they live. Voluntary identification bracelets allow emergency personnel to more quickly learn about a person’s diagnosis and how to best interact. Highland Park is the first community on the North Shore to implement this service.
All City of Highland Park Police Officers complete annual training to better understand and respond to residents with needs such as autism, dementia, mental illness, diabetes, and other non-visible disabilities. The Identification Bracelet Program was brought to the attention of the City Manager by Mayor Nancy Rotering. This program, in conjunction with the Premise Alert Program, will best serve our residents who are not able to communicate the most basic personal information quickly and clearly.
“We are always seeking solutions to address the unique needs of members of our community with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It is a matter of public safety and inclusion,” said Mayor Nancy Rotering. “For those who wish to use them, identification bracelets offer peace of mind to residents and their families. In addition, this extra safety measure is a way to help individuals maintain the highest form of independence while keeping them safe.”
“Our officers are trained to handle all possible encounters in the field. These identification bracelets provide an extra precaution and could potentially save lives and valuable time in emergency situations,” said Police Chief Lou Jogmen. “Identification bracelets and the City’s Premise Alert Program are useful tools for officers to properly identify situations, address needs for specific individuals, and contact family members expeditiously.”
The City currently administers the Premise Alert Program. The Illinois Premise Alert Program (PAP) Act requires public safety agencies with computer-aided dispatch (CAD) systems to provide a venue for maintaining information on individuals with non-verbal or non-visible disabilities within their coverage area.
The Police Department’s 9-1-1 center has maintained such a database since 1996. The systems provide informational alerts to first responders of these individuals within the community. In an effort to better utilize the current premise alert system, the Police Department requests that residents and business owners in Highland Park, who employ or reside with individuals with non-visible disabilities complete an informational form. This information will be included in the City’s database. All information is confidential and used solely to provide emergency responders quick access to critical information about a registered individual. Information is updated every two years.
To obtain an identification bracelet, please email City of Highland Park Police Detective Richard Rash at firstname.lastname@example.org with contact information and a head shot photo of the individual. Identification bracelets will be distributed by June 1, 2018.
For additional information, please contact the Highland Park Police Department at 847.432.7730 or www.cityhpil.com/policedepartment.