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SLCPD to be first police department that is certified sensory inclusive

All of Salt Lake City's first responders will participate in training
Posted at 3:50 PM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-16 00:30:33-04

SALT LAKE CITY — In an effort to better serve members of the community with sensory needs, Salt Lake City first responders will participate in a training that will make them the first in the nation to be certified as sensory inclusive.

The department is partnering with "KultureCity" and the training will focus on instilling understanding, acceptance, and empathy to create positive outcomes in future situations.

“It is my sincere hope that SLCPD is known for being the best trained and well-equipped department to respond with empathy, compassion, and the necessary skills – particularly when interacting with those who are the most vulnerable,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown.

"KultureCity" is bringing in occupational therapists, behavior therapists and other medical experts in Salt Lake City to educate first responders.

According to founder and CEO of "KultureCity," Dr. Julian Maha, the training focuses on four things:

  • The importance of empathy towards someone with an invisible disability or a sensory need and how common these needs are in society today.
  • What to do when engaging with someone who has an invisible disability or a sensory need, and how to recognize that they might have a need.
  • Strategies that can be used to help individuals with sensory needs or invisible disabilities to adapt to a situation that may be overwhelming.
  • How best to close that interaction and help resolve the situation in a positive way.

Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall praised the new initiative in a tweet saying:

"I’m so pleased with the City’s new partnership with KultureCity, which will provide valuable training to our SLCPD officers, SLC Fire Department, and SLC 911 on sensory needs and invisible disabilities. SLCPD will be the first Certified Sensory Inclusive Department in the nation, and our entire city will be better for it."

The training will take place in November and last about one hour. First responders will have to pass a test in order to be certified and will be retested each year.

Training phases of the first responder sensory inclusive program took place in Alabama, but SLCPD will be the first official department to go through the program.

"KultureCity" has also trained many social venues across the United States including the Vivint Arena and Children's Museum in Salt Lake City. You can see a full map of places that are sensory inclusive here.