ALEA Becomes First State Law Enforcement Agency in the U.S. to Train to Become Sensory-Inclusive
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is the first state law enforcement agency in the U.S. to train and become sensory inclusive. It’s part of a partnership between ALEA and a non-profit group called KultureCity.
KultureCity works to make changes in communities for people with sensory needs or those with invisible disabilities. The program’s training focuses on building understanding, acceptance and empathy in first responders toward those who have sensory needs.
“Individuals with sensory-issues have often been misdiagnosed or received delayed assistance due to the lack of understanding of their sensory issues,” Gov. Kay Ivey said. “I’m proud ALEA took initiative to train all sworn officers to be aware of and properly identify those with invisible disabilities. KultureCity training goes hand in hand with my administration’s goal to make mental health a priority and provide critical support to those that need it the most.”
All sworn ALEA personnel, including state troopers, special agents with the State Bureau of Investigation, communication officers and all personnel within ALEA’s Driver License Division have completed this training.
KultureCity began its training with a focus on entertainment and social venues. Since the program’s inception, KultureCity has created more than 700 sensory-inclusive venues in four countries with people trained on interacting with individuals who have sensory needs or invisible disabilities.
“A trial phase for first-responder training was initiated and completed in Alabama. Since then, KultureCity has expanded to local law enforcement departments around the nation; however, ALEA is our first state law enforcement agency to become sensory certified,” Dr. Julian Maha, KultureCity’s founder and CEO said.
KultureCity aligns with the mission of the Alabama Department of Mental Health and the recent opening of three crisis centers located in Montgomery, Huntsville and Mobile. These centers are designed for law enforcement to better assist individuals with sensory issues instead of sending to jails or emergency rooms.
The Alabama League of Municipalities is also working to encourage all cities and towns to partner with KultureCity for training among police officers.
— Information from the Office of Governor Kay Ivey