Blue Envelope Program for Autism
The Kenilworth Police Department is proud to partner with Union County and twenty of it's local municipalities to provide the Blue Envelope Program to motorists with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The program seeks to bring comfort and clarity to motorists with ASD who may be confused about the procedures that occur during a police encounter on a motor vehicle stop.
To enter the program, a motorist or other person of their choosing can contact The Kenilworth Police Department to pickup a designated "blue envelope". The envelope's primary purpose is to provide a place for motorist's to store their driver's license, vehicle registration, insurance card, and an emergency contact in order to simplify and streamline the encounter. Also, on the one side of the envelope are clear directions for the driver such as where to keep the envelope, what to do with your hands during the stop, an advisement about the use of a police flashlight and strobes, and how to communicate with police. It also provides the motorist's name on the outside of the card and informs the officer whether the motorist is verbal or nonverbal.
On the other side of the envelope are directions and an advisement for the police officer. It advises the officer that:
- Driver may exhibit signs of anxiety due to bright/strobe lights or loud noises like radios or sirens.
- Driver may display repetitive body movements or fidgeting and may have unusual eye contact.
- Speak clearly and use the most simplistic explanations possible. Limit unnecessary details.
- Allow driver extra time to respond; driver may need more time to formulate a response to your questions.
- Inform driver clearly and plainly when the stop is over and they are free to leave.
- If driver becomes upset, consider contacting the person listed on the enclosed contact card.
It's the police officer's intention to conduct each and every motor vehicle stop with professionalism, fairness, and understanding while safeguarding the public by enforcing motor vehicle laws. We hope the Blue Envelope Program helps get us to that place while having contact with a motorist who might require a different approach to what an officer routinely encounters. We're excited to bring this program to Kenilworth and hope it allows us to better assist the community we serve.
To get a "Blue Envelope" call our police desk at 908-276-1700 and select "0" for the dispatcher. A police officer will drop one off at your residence or you can pick one up at Kenilworth Police Department, 567 Boulevard, Kenilworth NJ 07033.