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The premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and announcements in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jun 06, 2022

Sheriff’s Office Holds Third Annual Autism Awareness Forum

By Lori Draz

Officer Kurt Kroeper and Bloodhound Skye

To wrap up Autism Awareness Month this past April, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office hosted its third annual Autism Awareness Forum and Resource Fair. The event works to share information and education to help spread autism awareness. Sheriff Shaun Golden, a strong advocate for the special needs community, led the event which brought together Project Lifesaver clients, family members, members of the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office, Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Office on Aging and local law enforcement. 

Attendees heard speeches from Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey who discussed the Monmouth County Special Needs Registry and Sheriff’s Officer Patrick Luke who provided an overview of the Project Lifesaver program. Project Lifesaver allows registered individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, autism and Down syndrome to be tracked via a wristlet in the event they wander and become missing. Project Lifesaver has been successful in helping families since 2003. 

Other speakers included Collen Smith from the Monmouth County Office on Aging, Gary Weitzen Director of POAC Autism Services, Public Safety Telecommunicator Kristin Aras and Captain Mike Matunas, Borough of Spring Lake Heights Police Department.

During the event, special needs advocates and family members of special needs individuals learned about programs and shared ideas. Attendees also enjoyed a K9 tracking demonstration with Officer Kurt Kroeper and Bloodhound Skye, Project Lifesaver and a drone presentation.