By Danielle Miller, Public Relations Specialist
On December 4th, Mosaic in Northern Indiana hosted the annual Christmas party at St. Hedwig in South Bend.
As a special treat this year, the South Bend Police Department came to assist unloading vehicles and stayed to eat and dance with individuals in service.
This partnership came as a result of the ongoing community outreach between Mosaic and first responders.
Over the past few months, representatives from Mosaic have met with the Notre Dame Police Department, South Bend Police Department, South Bend Fire Department and St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department to train first responders on the situations they could encounter when working with the intellectually disabled population.
When uniformed officers come to just hang out with the individuals, it makes them appear less intimidating to the people receiving services. These people may have anxiety or fears associated with police officers and firefighters which is especially dire when dealing with emergency situations that could arise in the future.
This outreach comes after a South Florida police officer shot the caregiver of a man with autism this summer. As the mission statement of Mosaic states, part of our aim is to advocate for individuals living with intellectual disabilities. One way to do that is to foster understanding and a positive relationship between the intellectually disabled community and local first responders.
We are very thankful for the South Bend Police Department especially Officers Howard, Cole, O’Blenis, Arias and Knepper who attended our Christmas party and made the night one to remember!