Leadership Pasadena to Help Law Enforcement, Special Needs Interaction

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Capt. Tim Sell, Chief Bertral Washington, Cindy Bengtson and Michelle Cox, Villa Esperanza director of development, will attend the Leadership Pasadena event on Apri 24.

Leadership Pasadena, in partnership with Villa Esperanza Services, Ability First and Professional Child Development Associates, is presenting a free 90-minute seminar for families, caregivers or staff caring for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) on how to work with law enforcement and first responders.
The event is Monday, April 24, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Ambassador Auditorium, 131 S. St. John Ave.
The speaker will be Brian Herritt, a former police officer with a son on the autism spectrum, who trains families and police officers across the country on safe and effective interactions between individuals with I/DD and law enforcement and first responders. Herritt’s advice is direct and from years of experience on both sides of the situation.
Leadership Pasadena is a hands-on, community leadership program that selects local nonprofits to help learn about projects they would love to do but don’t have the staff, time or resources to complete.
This year, Villa Esperanza Services was selected as one of the three community partners.
“Villa Esperanza demonstrated a commitment to hands-on learning, and based on the success of a program in Ventura County, I knew I wanted to be an active partner. Our event will deliver what we hope is the first of many educational forums to affect the safety and well-being for families and individuals with special abilities,” said LP Team member Patti Traglio.
Traglio adds: “I was deeply troubled by the disturbing news cycle the past year about the challenges and potential for harm during interactions between law enforcement and first responders and the special ability community. It’s not enough to train law enforcement personnel and first responders. Parents, professionals and those who care for family members with autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and intellectual and developmental disabilities need to have lifesaving information, tools and resources for safe encounters.”
Members of the Pasadena Fire and Police Departments, South Pasadena Police Department and PUSD will attend. Each organization supports this event and will be there to meet other attendees and build relationships.
“Our work on behalf of great community partners will deliver education, better communication and empowerment,” remarks Traglio. “By helping to improve everyday interactions, we can help save lives.”
To register for this free seminar, visit communitysafetymeeting.eventbrite.com. Parking is free at the Ambassador Auditorium. The seminar will have a limited number of headsets for Spanish translation. Register early to secure a headset if needed. For more information about the speaker, Brian Herritt, visit autismcop.com. For more information about the event, contact MCox@Villa­EsperanzaServices.org or call (626) 449-2919, ext. 128.

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