Plano Police officers will change their uniform patch in April to call attention to autism and Autism Awareness Month.
In a statement, police said they plan to wear the special uniform patch on an annual basis every April.
The colorful patch symbolizes the city of Plano and also brings outright awareness to autism, according to police.
“Throughout the world, the month of April is designated as Autism Awareness Month. This is not a time of celebration, but a time to create awareness, understanding, and acceptance for those with autism. After using our voice to accomplish this goal, we can join together to celebrate the fact that many stakeholders in Kendall County have the same mission throughout the year. That mission is simple, yet impactful, to bring heightened awareness to autism and to those community members of all ages who live with this on a daily basis,” police said.
Police noted their decision to call attention to Autism Awareness Month has been done with the support of the city, the Kendall County State’s Attorney’s Office, the Kendall County Health Department, Plano School District 88 and the Plano Area Special Education Cooperative.
State’s Attorney Eric Weis said in the statement that April seves as a reminder that those with autism are not to be treated differently.
“We must continue to work together as a community to ensure that all people, including those with autism, are treated kindly and fairly,” Weis said.
“The health department is honored to stand beside Plano Police Department and shine a light on autism awareness in order to improve the quality of life for people with autism and their families across Kendall County,” RaeAnn VanGundy health department executive director, said in the statement.
Tony Baker, superintendent of Plano School District 88 said in the statement that “understanding, embracing and celebrating different ways of thinking and doing are important in the development of all children.”
Police concluded, “Each and every stakeholder mentioned has a unique opportunity to assist those with autism and they also have a voice at the table when it comes to bringing awareness to the communities in which we serve. The overall message is in April. Let’s band together to heighten autism awareness and support those in our community who require and depend on our services to enjoy the same quality of life we all strive for on a daily basis.”