Northville Twp officers, state police to carry autism calming sensory kits

Northville Township police have calming bags specifically designed for people with autism. The idea is the creation of Police Officer Andrew Domzalski.  Soon, all the officers here will carry them. 

"We have ear muffs for sound, sunglasses for visual," he said. "If we don't have the tools that we need to make that situation more soothing for them, it can take a turn for the worse."   

The bags contain ear muffs, fidget spinners, a chew necklace, and eventually weighted blankets too.  

 "I could see it being bigger than just Northville Township," said Lt. Sarah Krebs, Michigan State Police.

Krebs, at the MSP Metro Post, is sharing the idea at her post. 

"I grew up with a disabled person in my family and I've always had a soft spot for them," she said. "I think there is a better way we can reach out and communicate with them." 

She's in the process of expanding the effort.  

"My goal is to outfit our entire fleet in our department to every trooper on the road can have access to this when they need it," Krebs said. "If you are looking at numbers, that's almost 1,200 cars across the state."  

 In Northville Township the bags will be stuffed by April, which is Autism Awareness Month. They also want to give residents a sticker for their homes and car to alert first responders.  

"What that does for us is upon approach we can already know that there is someone with special needs," said Domzalski. 

Pricier items like those weighted blankets, both MSP and Northville Township Police are looking to secure funding. if you'd like to help in any way, contact Lt. Krebs at (248) 584-5740 or Ofc. Domzalski at (248) 349-9400.