Nanaimo RCMP are implementing a new resource to assist front line officers when responding to situations involving clients with sensory processing disorders, autism spectrum and who may also be experiencing a mental health crisis.
In a release Thursday, RCMP announced they had purchased fifteen first responders Sensory Support kits which would be placed in officer vehicles.
According to the RCMP, the idea for the kits came from Constable Josh Waltman, Nanaimo’s Mental Health Liaison Officer, after he attended an Autism training session hosted by the Canucks Autism Network.
According to Waltman, similar kits were introduced during the session and he immediately saw a need for them in Nanaimo.
After pitching the idea to senior management of the Nanaimo RCMP, the detachment decided to move forward with implementing the kits.
Each kit comes at a cost of $100 and consists of noise cancelling headphones, booklets with visual supports, including emergency specific symbols, sunglasses for light sensitivity, sensory toys, and a whiteboard marker for non-verbal clients.
The kits will be placed in select vehicles of front line officers, school liaison officers and supervisors vehicles.
“The kits allow for a more humanistic approach for their officers when dealing with clients in the community with specialized needs,” said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.