Jenks Police Department launches new wrapped autism awareness cruiser

JENKS, Okla. – April is Autism Awareness Month and the new Jenks Police Department cruiser is doing just that.

“I am very excited to be driving this vehicle and representing the autism community,” Police Officer Cody Galloway said.

The Jenks Police Department is playing its part in raising autism awareness with a newly painted cruiser and training for officers.

For Officer Galloway, this revelation was close to his heart.

“It’s something deep in my heart because I’m on the spectrum. I was diagnosed in high school. So with my spectrum, I’m supporting other families as well. And this is something very dear to my heart,” Galloway said.

The cruiser comes complete with red, yellow and blue puzzle pieces on the sides, along with the Jenks Police Department badge – also made up of puzzle pieces and on the front of the cruiser, a stripe bright ribbon – a sign of hope.

Jenks Police Chief Jason Jackson said the department has had a number of encounters with citizens on the range and he said it’s very important that his officers know how to handle those situations.

“Small changes we can make, like turning off overhead lights when stopping traffic. If you have a child on the spectrum in the car, you will know the lower tones. Those things are going to make a lot of difference in the outcome,” said Sheriff Jackson.

Jackson also said he wants families to know that police are there as a resource.

“We’re not going to be heavy-handed and try to overpower things. We’re understanding and potentially trying to communicate with them and realize what the problem is.”

Jackson said the majority of JPD officers have already undergone the training, and he expects to add an additional degree of training next year.

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