Opelika Police And Fire Launch Project S.A.F.E.R For Special Needs Community

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Contributed by OPD

The Opelika Police and Fire Departments are excited to launch Project S.A.F.E.R, a voluntary program available to all citizens who live, work and attend school in Opelika. The acronym S.A.F.E.R stands for Special Assistance For Emergency Response. The program focuses on providing information through a special needs registry which will allow first responders to better assist individuals with cognitive, developmental or mental health disabilities in the event of an emergency. Knowing an individual’s specific needs can afford officers and first responders the opportunity to quickly and effectively respond during critical incidents. Information on registrants is kept strictly confidential and will only be utilized during times of emergency.

Individuals can enroll online at www.opelikapd.org. The registry requires individuals to provide their personal information such as legal name, address, date of birth and emergency contact information. Registrants can elect to provide additional information on their special needs and upload a recent photo. Information about triggers, medications and communication techniques can be extremely beneficial in helping first responders interact with members of our community who may require a specialized approach.

“Our goal is to be able to provide the best care and response to all citizens in Opelika,”said Police Chief Shane Healey. “First responders never know how a situation will unfold, but having access to critical information like triggers, medications and communication techniques will allow dispatchers to quickly relay these special needs to first responders before they arrive on scene.”

Once enrolled, registrants will receive two window decals to be displayed at the front entrance of their residence and on their vehicle. The decal will alert first responders that someone has a degree of special need and should respond accordingly. The use of the decal is voluntary. The Opelika Police and Fire Departments hope to introduce additional services under Project S.A.F.E.R in the future. For more information on Project S.A.F.E.R please visit www.opelikapd.org.

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