Peel Regional Police and Community Partners Launch Autism Strategy

Posted On Tuesday May 02, 2023

Region of Peel –   Peel Regional Police, in collaboration with community partners, announced the launch of a strategy to strengthen how police can best serve the autistic community in Peel. The strategy, believed to be the first of its kind in Canada, was developed through a highly collaborative approach between Peel Regional Police and many community partners invested in achieving the best outcomes for autistic individuals. These partners include: Autism Ontario, Community Living Mississauga, Developmental Services Ontario, the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board, ErinOakKids, Jake’s House, Kerry’s Place, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, Peel Behavioural Services, Peel Crisis Capacity Network, the Peel District School Board and the South Asian Autism Awareness Centre.  

“As with all priority populations, police agencies need to do more to understand, engage and serve the autistic community. We are grateful to the many partners working alongside us to define and inform this important work. I encourage jurisdictions across Canada to leverage what we’ve done in Peel as a springboard for efforts to strengthen service to the autistic community”, said Peel Regional Police Chief Nishan Duraiappah.   

The strategy builds on the Community Safety and Well-Being plan that Peel Regional Police adopted in June, 2022, to support a more collaborative and innovative approach to how the organization responds to current and emerging community needs. Specifically, it outlines four pillars with focus on enhanced training and education, ongoing engagement with the autistic community, collaboration with service providers and opportunities to improve how officers access information when responding to vulnerable persons.

The strategy is not a final destination point. It is a living document that will evolve through engagement with the autistic community, learnings from implementation and continued partner feedback. The launch comes on the heels of Autism Awareness Month which takes place each April to increase awareness of autism and promote the inclusion of autistic individuals in our society.


“Critical to those within the autism community, is that they know they are being heard.  As importantly, constant education is required to ensure that their special needs are understood by those who serve and protect them.  Jake’s House commends and recognizes the efforts put forth by Peel Regional Police and their leadership under Chief Nishan Duraiappah. Collaboration will bring success and we are committed to being an active partner in the evolving discussion." Jennifer Joseph, Chief Executive Officer, Jake's House

"We believe that by working together, police and the autism community can reduce the level of negative police interactions experienced by autistic people. We also believe this model can be used by other police services across the country, as police interactions with autistic people are not just restricted to Peel.” Michael Cnudde, Communications Specialist, Autism Ontario

“Peel Regional Police has been positively collaborating with community organizations to provide enhanced and more Autism specific training to their officers, so that they can better understand how to interact with people on the spectrum and respond appropriately.  This collaborative and inclusive approach is a true testament to PRP’s commitment to protecting and serving all members of the community.” Rasha Sportello, Peel Crisis Capacity Network

For media inquiries, please contact the on-duty Public and Media Relations Officer at 905-453-2121, extension 4027.

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