MONTGOMERY, Ala (WIAT) — State troopers in Alabama are now better trained to help recognize and differentiate between someone who is posing as a threat or who may be suffering from some type of mental or sensory breakdown.
Gov. Kay Ivey announced the training at the Capitol building Tuesday.
“Our law enforcement can properly differentiate between someone who’s being combative or argumentative with someone who may be struggling with an overwhelming or physically painful sensory issue,” Ivey said.
The Kulture City Organization was founded by Dr. Julian Maha.
“Seven years ago, when our son was diagnosed with a sensory need and invisible disability, we founded Kulture City in order to build a community of acceptance and inclusion for so many like,” Maha said.
The free training has already been in use by a handful of police departments in Alabama, including the city of Helena. Along with training on recognizing someone with a sensory issue, an officer’s tool kit provides items such as noise-reducing headphones to calm someone down and picture cards for someone who may not be able to speak.
“I look back on my career and wonder how many people did I not treat correctly or hand correctly because I was not aware of people with sensory issues,” Helena Police Chief Brad Flynn said.
Maha hopes to use Alabama as an example to expand the sensory training program into police departments across the country.
The Alabama League of Municipalities is also working to encourage all cities and towns to partner with KultureCity for training among police officers.