April is Autism Awareness Month and the Hamilton Police Department is proud to show our support of those who have been diagnosed with autism. A 2016 study reported approximately 1 in 54 children in the U.S. have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. This can affect a person’s social skills, communication, relationships, and self-regulation. The puzzle piece has been the official symbol of the Autism Society since 1999 and reflects the complexity of the spectrum. The different colors represent the diversity of the people and families living with the condition. The brightness represents the hope, through increased awareness, that people with autism will lead full lives and able to interact with the world on their own terms.

Chief Russell Stevens said “It is important for us as police officers to help bring support and awareness about autism. Creating a community of awareness is paramount for us as police officers and to the community we serve.”

For the month of April all Hamilton officers will be displaying blue wrist bands with the puzzle piece, and the words “Autism” and “Be the difference.” Additionally, all cruisers will have a puzzle piece magnet on the back tailgate. For more information about autism visit Autismspeaks.org or Autsim-society.org.