What is the Autism Registry?
The Registry for People with Autism is a South Kingstown Police Department project in partnership with the community. The online registry promotes communication and gives police quick access to critical information about a registered person with autism. The Registry can provide police with emergency contact information, detailed physical descriptions, known routines, favorite attractions or special needs of the individual with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This information can assist officers in communicating with, attending a residence of or dealing with an emergency involving an individual with ASD.
Goal of the Program:
The goal of the program is to give police quick access to critical information about a registered individual with ASD in the community in an emergency situation.
Annual registration is required to keep your form active. It is the responsibility of the person with autism or the guardian to resubmit the form. It is recommended that you resubmit on the registrant’s birthday to make it easier to remember.
How do I register?
In order to register, print the attached form below and mail to or drop off at the South Kingstown Police Station:
1790 Kingstown Road
Wakefield, RI 02879
Autism Registry Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Autism Registry?
The Registry for People with Autism is a South Kingstown Police Department project in partnership with the community. The online registry promotes communication and gives police quick access to critical information about a registered person with autism in a police emergency by capturing information such as a full description, routine/favorite attractions, communication and other special needs as well as emergency contact information.
Can individuals with other communication disorders participate with this registry? Or is it restricted to those who fall within the Autism Spectrum?
The registry has been developed with the intent to serve all members of our community who may find their communication abilities challenged or ineffective when interacting with police. Examples of this are persons with developmental disabilities, Alzheimer’s patients or other endangered individuals. The South Kingstown Police Department encourages all endangered persons to be registered.
If I don't live in South Kingstown, can I still register my child/dependent adult on the registry?
If you do not live in South Kingstown but your child/dependent adult comes to South Kingstown on a regular basis. (i.e. for work, school, daycare, etc.), then you should register. If the registrant is not in South Kingstown regularly, there would be almost no benefit to registering.
As soon as I send the registration, will the information be immediately available in case police response is required?
No. The registration form will need to be entered in order to capture all relevant information. The process may take up to two (2) weeks to be fully processed. You will receive a confirmation from the police department. You will be assigned a “file number”.
After I receive my confirmation "File Number" will I need to quote this number when I call the police?
You will need to have this “File Number” to update the registration on an annual basis, or to make any changes as they become relevant.
During high stress situations, there is no expectation that you will remember the number, but merely that the individual has been registered. The South Kingstown Police will be able to verify the information using the person’s name once we have been advised of the registration.
Who has access to my child's profile?
South Kingstown Police personnel who require this information in the performance of their duties will have access to the information. There are strict regulations with respect to accessing and disseminating information. The sharing of this information with other police agencies during an emergency can be helpful when a person is registered in South Kingstown but wanders off in another jurisdiction.
Can I update my profile more than every year if there are changes? How do I do that?
You may, however, only information that has a significant impact on policing response will be necessary. Some examples would include a change in address, school, or emergency contact. You do not need to report a change in hair cut or color, for example, as the police are familiar with the changes that can be made and are more likely to notice height, weight and eye color. You can send changes to
Will I be notified when the annual renewal is required?
The renewals are the sole responsibility of the parent/guardian. It is recommended that you renew the registration during the month of the registrant’s birthday.
After my child/dependent adult is registered, and if there is an incident, do I need to do something to notify the police?
It is preferable that you let the police know that the individual is already registered. In doing so, the information will be immediately disseminated to the vehicles without having to ask the parents/guardians during a high stress situation.
How will this registry help if my child/dependent adult goes missing?
If the individual goes missing and is reported by the parent/guardian, information about his/her physical appearance, the most likely places where he/she would go to, as well as triggers, stimulants, and de-escalation techniques will be sent to every police officer in the area to look for the missing person.
If the individual has not been reported and is incapable of effectively communicating his/her name to an officer, a computer check of the neighborhood, coupled with the physical appearance, may allow us to identify the individual more quickly. This will then allow us to use the contact information to connect with the parents/guardians.
What guarantees do we have that the interaction between our child/dependent adult and the police will be positive once he/she is registered?
There is no guarantee with this registry of a positive outcome. What the registry allows is the ability for patrol officers to have necessary information faster to begin searching. Also, if an officer comes across a "wandering" person who is unable to communicate, the officer, if they recognize the condition, can have the database queried for persons on the registry that live in the area.
What is important to stress is that simply having a person registered with the registry is not going to change police responses in every instance involving an individual with ASD. Police will act according to procedure depending on circumstances. An individual with ASD can still be arrested. In that case, being registered will assist police in contacting the correct people.