Rockville, MD (May 31, 2014) -- The Montgomery County Police Department and Autism Speaks partnered together to host the second annual “Autism Night Out” Friday night at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy in Rockville, Maryland.
The event drew quite a crowd, as police officers, local officials, service providers, families, volunteers and members of the Autism Speaks community all gathered to exchange valuable safety information. The event gave the local police and fire department the opportunity to meet families and learn more about wandering and autism, a priority area for Autism Speaks.
Officer Laurie Reyes, an individual who played a major role in making the event possible for the second year along with Autism Speaks National Capital AreaBoard Member Nora Fitzpatrick, introduced County Executive Ike Leggett who spoke to attendees about the importance of “Autism Night Out”. He thanked the Montgomery County Police Department and the Rescue Team for running a successful Project Lifesaver Program in the area. Other presenters included Assistant Chief Betsy Davis and Autism Speaks Southeast Regional Director Ann Gibbons.
On average, the Montgomery Police and Rescue crew, consisting of eight officers, handles over 200 active searches for endangered missing persons a year, many involving missing people with autism. It is the hope that events like “Autism Night Out” in Montgomery County can take place in other communities as well in order to reduce the number of cases and help families and officers work together to prevent wandering in their respective service areas.
[slideshow:2, order=top, width=585, height=440, img=|/sites/default/files/docs/essayblankmanandhu.png|||Officer Blankman and Matt Hu ||,img=|/sites/default/files/docs/essayjohnfeissnerandson.png|||Captain John Feissner and Justin ||,img=|/sites/default/files/docs/essayfirerescue.png|||From Left: Fire/Rescue and Master Parametic Geoff Lewis\, Lieutenant Corey Phelps\, Firefighter Jim Gross\, Master Firefighter Donnie Simmons ||,img=|/sites/default/files/docs/essayalphazidelta.png|||From left: Alpha Zi Delta volunteers Nancy Carman and Lori Plazinski ||,img=|/sites/default/files/docs/essayannbobrorynora.png|||Ann Gibbons\, Bob Fitzpatrick\, Rory Fitzpatrick and Autism Speaks National Capital Area Board Member Nora Fitzpatrick ||,img=|/sites/default/files/docs/essayofficerlauriereyes.png|||Officer Laurie Reyes |]