TAMPA (FOX 13) - Mayor Bob Buckhorn is announcing a city partnership with the Tampa Police Department to help better prepare first responders to improve their ability to work with autistic individuals and those with special needs.
April is Autism Awareness Month and the mayor has declared Tampa to be an autism-friendly city.
City departments are working to make that vision a reality.
A program being launched Thursday is designed to give first responders valuable tools that will help avoid misunderstandings or dangerous encounters between first responders and residents, some of whom may have difficulty communicating due to their condition.
But the mayor says it only works if families sign up for it.
The police chief says families can provide as much or as little information as they want to and this program may also help individuals struggling with mental illness.
To register, visit https://www.tampagov.net/tpd-voluntary-special-needs-registration-form.