Your Child & Law Enforcement

June 11, 2012

Police officers maintain law and order in our society. That’s a very simplistic job description, because they face life and death dangers every time they answer a distress call. But for the purposes of this article, let’s keep it simple.

To make sure that there’s open communication between our local police force and my son, I’ve been teaching him some basics which I think will be helpful for any child who may have communication issues. Of course I hope my son doesn’t have any run-ins with the law, but if he does, he needs to be prepared.

Respect law enforcement

Respect law enforcement

If you are stopped by the police:

  1. Show your hands at all times.
    • If driving and you’re pulled over by the police, keep your hands on the steering wheel.
    • If you’re standing, keep your hands out of your pockets and at your side.
    • Don’t grab your wallet, your phone or anything else – unless directed to do so.
  2. Do not touch the policeman’s gun, knife, baton, tazer, radio, badge, hat – anything. Do not reach for it. Do not ask about it. Save your love for weaponry and electronics for another time and place. And keep your hands to yourself.
  3. Respect the personal space of the police officer. Stand an arm’s length away. He may invade your personal space, but you cannot invade his.
  4. Don’t get out of your car until asked to do so.
  5. Don’t sass. Don’t joke. Don’t ask questions. Don’t speak unless you are asked to.
  6. Follow the instructions of the law enforcement personnel.
  7. Never answer questions at a police station without having an attorney present. Often individuals with Asperger’s will say things they never meant to say, or their literal interpretation will wrongfully incriminate them. [Remember the scene from HBO’s TEMPLE GRANDIN movie where she was questioned by college authorities about her squeeze box? She was interpreting the questions literally, which got her into trouble.]
  8. Know when to call 911.

If you have any pointers to add to this list, please comment below. We’d love to hear your input!

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