Clintonville Police Department makes new decals to help first responders

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 5:34 PM CDT
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CLINTONVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) - New decals available at the Clintonville Police Department hope to guide first responders as they interact with people while out on calls in the community.

“There’s one for mentally or physically disabled, the other one is for developmentally disabled,” said Chief Craig Freitag of the Clintonville Police Department. “The next one is for dementia or Alzheimer’s, and the other one is Autism Spectrum Disorder.”

It is an idea that started in other police departments in Central Wisconsin that Freitag felt would be a great addition to the Clintonville community.

“For instance, if somebody is non-verbal, that could come across as they don’t like the police or they don’t want to talk to the police," said Freitag. "If somebody has this decal, that’s going to give us that knowledge of understanding why they’re non-verbal.”

“It’s awesome to see a police department that is so forward thinking and wanting to reach out to the community,” said Ryan Rockey.

Rockey joins many others in the community getting decals to put on their homes or cars. Hers is for her 19-year-old daughter with Down syndrome.

“My daughter is quite high-functioning, and she is verbal, but I never know how much we prepare and how much we discuss there being an emergency situation, I never know if she’s going to freeze or if she’s going to want to find me or her brother or just remember to get out and find safety and call 911," said Rockey.

Freitag tells Action 2 News Clintonville police officers respond to calls that involve people living with Alzheimer’s or dementia on a weekly basis: “Sometimes it’s difficult to recognize that somebody may have a disorder, because there’s not always that visual you can see. I think with these, that brings that awareness.”

The decals are free to anyone who wants them at the Clintonville Police Department, even those who live outside of the city.

“I hope we have to order more. I hope they’re a big hit and they’re used,” said Freitag.

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