CLEVER, Mo -- Some local first responders now have a way to get better information when helping someone in a vehicle or when they respond to their home. The Clever Police Department has started a Window Alert Sticker program.
The police department is asking that people with special needs use them on their vehicles and on their front doors to help first responders gather more information about them as they pull up to a scene. There is a sticker for someone who is deaf, someone who has autism or other special needs, someone who has Alzheimer's or dementia, and someone who is diabetic.
The idea stemmed from when Clever Police Chief Jeff Lofton was at the Christian County sheriff's office and one of the deputies had an interesting traffic stop.
"While approaching the vehicle, the passenger who was later identified with Autism," Lofton explained. "He starts attacking his dad who was driving the vehicle. So during our deputy contact at the door, the passenger exits immediately and runs out on 65 highway."
Lofton said after the passenger calmed down, the deputy asked the dad what happened.
"The front strobes on the light bar was kind of the trigger for him." Lofton added.
That is when Lofton thought of the idea.
"As we check the license plate, it just tells us who the license plate belongs to, and what vehicle that is supposed to be on. That is it," said Lofton. "So when we approach a vehicle we are kind of entering an unknown."
"Communication solves a lot of problems." added Pamela Foster.
Her son is unable to walk or talk after a medical emergency last year. She loves the idea of the stickers giving first responders a heads up of what they may be dealing with.
"He is not going to verbally respond," she explained. "It reduces error and allows the children or other people with special needs access to care that they need to even if they can't verbally articulate it."
"(It will) let fire or police know that I am disabled, my speech." said Jason Hoggett.
Hoggett has a speech disability and put one of the window alert stickers on the back window of his car.
"An occupant may have special needs and may not respond to verbal commands." Hoggett said, reading what the sticker said.
"If we see something like that that will give us a better idea of what we are dealing with. It just gives us a little bit better preparedness to better serve the situation that we might get thrown in." Lofton added.
The stickers are available at the Clever Police Department and the Clever Fire Protection District just ordered some as well. And you don't have to live in city limits to get a sticker.