How the lack of awareness about people with disabilities can lead to violence
Police, guns and violence
It is alarming to know that each year there has been an increase in violent behavior exhibited by law enforcement towards people with developmental disabilities. The same people who promise to protect the weak can be those who cause them a lot of pain. In recent years, law enforcement across the country has come under fire for incidents of police brutality. Little attention is being paid to the incidents involving people with disabilities. It is time that we should open our eyes to this matter. It could happen to anyone.
Police have become the default responders to critical-calls involving people with disabilities. There should be additional law enforcement training dedicated to handling situations involving people with disabilities. The Elite Direct Support Program can help officers gain more knowledge on how to handle critical situations. This program will help save the lives of people with disabilities. Our main goal is to protect the disabled and let them live their life independently away from any troubles.
People with disabilities are not criminals. They might be having a hard time controlling their emotions that sometimes leads to an episode that may cause some troubles for their family, but that doesn’t mean that they are dangerous. Families ask for assistance because they believe responders will help them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen, especially if officers involved in the crisis are not trained to recognize people with disabilities. We know that people with disabilities are prone to experiencing some episodes in their lives. They cannot control these episodes because many times they are correlated with extreme levels of stress hormones that cause sudden changes in their behavior.
If an officer appears threatening in a given situation, it is more likely to cause the person with a disability to run or to try and resist. Usually, it happens not because the person is guilty but because they are afraid. Law enforcement groups should have mandatory training for the de-escalation process and techniques.
The EDS Program can save lives.
Officers can receive knowledge about de-escalation techniques and other approaches through our EDS Program. We all need to keep in mind that not all people with disabilities look a certain way. You could be interacting with a developmentally disabled person who does not fit a typical description. That is why those who respond in critical situations should know how to assess the person involved.
By being able to recognize a person with a disability, those who are trained can also provide extra resources to families so they can have a better understanding of pacifying loved ones going through an episode.
If the EDS Program is implemented within law enforcement we can save a lot of families from experiencing traumatic events that involve a family member with a developmental disability. The EDS Program will make the world safer for people with disabilities. Guns should not be an option.
We should put away the stigma that people with disabilities are violent. They are not dangerous if you know how to recognize the behavior they display. The behavior can be easily recognized as well. It may take time for the person with a disability to understand what is happening. But if law enforcement is called to a situation, they can create a calm environment by having one person communicate simply and clearly to the person involved. They should allow some time for the person to respond to questions or instructions and exercise patience.
Taking time, assessing the situation, and responding calmly and appropriately are the best techniques. We should not resort to violence to correct a situation. The EDS program for law enforcement groups is needed and necessary.