READING — Chief David Clark has announced that the Reading Police Department will be participating in the Autism Police Patch Program throughout the month of April.
The Reading Police Department had originally decided to participate in this important fundraiser at the beginning of the year and the officers were all excited to purchase these special patches and to wear the RPD Autism patches on their uniforms. The Department was also excited to sell patches to the public as part of this fundraising effort.
“We understand that this is an uncertain time and that a lot of families are struggling emotionally and financially now,” Chief Clark said “Even though Massachusetts is under a stay-at-home advisory we felt that we needed to proceed with this important fundraising and awareness campaign, just modify how we participate in it to match the ever changing circumstances.”
The custom-designed patches will help to increase autism awareness throughout the community and raise money to be donated to the Doug Flutie Jr. Foundation for Autism. The organization provides financial assistance for families caring for a loved one with autism and educates the public about autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
“Opportunities like this are great way to increase awareness and show our dedication to working with the community,” said Community Service Officer Kristen O’Shaughnessy. “Every little bit helps when it comes to improving the lives of those with autism, and we’re proud to contribute to the cause.”
Patches cost $10 by check only and can only be purchased through the department.
Beginning April 1, those interested should send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Reading Police Department with a check made out to the Flutie Foundation.
Envelopes and checks may also be dropped off at the donation box outside of the police department.
Residents are also asked to include their email address when either sending or dropping off the envelopes.
Residents will not be able to purchase the patches directly from the police department or with cash for the time being. The Reading Police Department is limiting public access to the police station as a precaution against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“We hope residents that can afford to, will purchase a patch to help support this great cause, especially during this time when residents are being encouraged to stay home and the need for funding and support becomes even more crucial,” Chief Clark said. “We’re thrilled to be supporting the Flutie Foundation and the work they do in support of families and individuals with ASD.”
For more information, call 781-942-6761 or email Officer O’Shaughnessy at [email protected].