'Badges and Buddies' brings autistic children and law enforcement together

BELTON, Texas - The Bell County Autism Team held an event to provide an opportunity for children with autism and law enforcement officers to interact with each other. 

Representatives from each law enforcement agency in Bell County took part, including 911 dispatchers.

The goal was to ease fear and misunderstanding on both sides. Officers were able to gain some insight on how autism can affect communication.

Jason Miller of the Bell County Autism Team says there may be behaviors by someone who is autistic which looks threatening from the officer's perspective, but it is a coping mechanism for the individual. 

"There's times where you or an officer might be responding to an emergency situation or a criminal investigation where they are confronting someone with autism. And there could be a big misunderstanding into why a child, teenager or adult is reacting that certain way," Miller says.

The organization is hoping to make Badges and Buddies an annual event. 

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