01STOCK_POLICE_GENERIC_1

ELKHORN

Walworth County residents can now enter information into a registry about people with autism or special needs so first responders have access to that information in an emergency, according to a sheriff’s office news release shared Tuesday.

The registry, which is available online at gazettextra.com/needs_registry, is for anyone with a disability that might affect his or her communication ability, the release states.

Entries include information such as addresses, emergency contact information, primary diagnosis, conditions, behaviors and suggestions on how to communicate with the person, according to the release. Photos can be included, as well.

“This is a part of our effort to ensure the safety of all Walworth County residents when they have interactions with law enforcement, fire, and EMS,” the release states. “This will benefit families and officers by reducing the possibility of misunderstandings or unnecessary stress for children and adults with disabilities when they come in contact with first responders.”

The registry for Walworth County residents is voluntary, and the sheriff’s office release says the form is confidential.

The sheriff’s office is maintaining the registry, but it will go through the dispatch center and be available for others in the county, according to the release.

Questions can be directed to sheriff’s deputy Dan Nelson at 262-903-9253 or dnelson@co.walworth.wi.us.