BERKELEY TOWNSHIP ANNOUNCES BLUE ENVELOPE PROGRAM.The Blue Envelope Program will help those on the Autism Spectrum when interacting with officers during traffic stops.
BERKELEY - Mayor Carmen Amato and Police Chief Kevin Santucci have announced that the Berkeley Township Police Department has initiated a new program to assist residents who are on the Autism Spectrum during a traffic stop. The Blue Envelope Program.
Being signaled by a law enforcement officer to pull over and the process of a traffic stop can make anyone nervous and anxious. For those who are on the Autism Spectrum, these issues are compounded.
This program is highly successful in other towns in the state. The Blue Envelope Program was brought to my attention by a resident of our community. Having been involved with the autism community over the years with “Light it up Blue” and the “Strike Out Autism Challenge”, along with different autism groups in our town, I thought it was a good program to have here. I discussed it with Chief Santucci and we immediately began working on its implementation”, said Mayor Carmen Amato.
“The Blue Envelope Program will help to avoid miscommunication between our officers and drivers that are on the Autism Spectrum”, said Chief Kevin Santucci.
How the program will work: When a driver who is on the Autism Spectrum gets pulled over, the driver shows and hands the blue envelope to the officer.
The driver will keep their driver’s license, vehicle registration, vehicle insurance, and an emergency contact card inside the blue envelope.
The outside of the blue envelope contains instructions for the driver, like keeping hands on the wheel, a reminder that the officer may shine their flashlight in the car and that the police car may have flashing lights. On the reverse side of the envelope, it tells the officers what to do, like simplifying requests and if the driver becomes upset to contact a person on the emergency contact card. A checked off box will also indicate whether the driver is verbal or nonverbal.
If you or a family one would like to participate in the Blue Envelope Program, please stop at Berkeley Township Police Headquarters, located at 631 Pinewald-Keswick Road or call our non-emergency main number 732-349-1132 Ext: 2126 and an officer will drop off your blue envelope. This program is currently only available to Berkeley Township residents.