MIAMI TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) — The Miami Twp. Police Department announced its launch of a new program to help those caring for individuals living with medical conditions like Autism and Alzheimer’s.

“There are moments when you wish other people would be a little more empathetic and compassionate toward what you are dealing with,” said Lashell Dauterman with Montgomery County Center for Adolescent Services.

Dauterman’s 18-year-old son suffers from severe autism. “When they can’t communicate something that is bothering them, hurting them, or something that they want or need, they tend to go to other extremes to get their messages off. Unfortunately sometimes it does come across in an aggressive manner.”

The safe senior program includes:

  • A File of Life for the Police Department and a copy to maintain at home
  • A lock box for an exterior door of the residence. (A limited number of lockboxes are available)
  • An MTSSP sticker provided by the Miami Twp. Police to place in the window or door near the main entrance of the home

Officer William Olinger with Miami Twp. Police said, “the lockbox will allow us access into their residence to better assist them in the event of an emergency so that we do not have to force entry. It means not having to cause property damage because they’re suffering a heart attack or some type of medical crisis.”

Citizens who qualify for the program include:

  • Citizens with dementia or Alzheimer’s
  • Citizens over the age of 60 living alone with a serious illness
  • Parents of children with developmental disabilities such as down syndrome or autism

“We always worry that if law enforcement were to come into the situation, would they understand that he is non-verbal? So these safety measures they’re putting in place are really going to be a benefit to the overall quality of life these individuals will have,” Dauterman said.

File of Life packets can be obtained at the Miami Twp. Police Department. Completed packets must be returned for the individual to participate in the program.