DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — A new program launched in Okaloosa County will help bridge the gap between first responders and citizens with special needs.

The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office announced the start of the SAFE program Thursday. Residents can fill out a form listing medical conditions and behavioral triggers for those with special needs.

“Those that have a loved one maybe that’s either non-verbal, autistic, anyone that might get confused, Alzheimer’s, dementia might want to sign up for this program,” said Crime Prevention Manager Ashley Bailey. “You can even add a photo with the enrollment form.”

Decals given to those enrolled will be placed on cars and the front door of houses to signal to law enforcement of the extra care needed.

“When emergency responders show up or pull over that vehicle or maybe even the vehicle has a flat tire on the side of the road, one of our deputies pulls over to assist they will automatically know that an individual associated with that home or that vehicle is in the SAFE program,” said Bailey.

The “SAFE” program focuses on families providing enhanced information on loved ones with Alzheimer’s, autism, communication disorders, or any disabilities in case of an emergency where communication is critical. That info is then available for dispatchers to share with first responders if an emergency arises.

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office

Previously, OCSO worked with the Take Me Home Program. Those enrolled for that will now need to enroll for SAFE.

Enrollment and other information can be found online.  Once completed, email the SAFE Program enrollment form to the Intelunit@sheriff-okaloosa.org 

Available locations for more information are below:

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office- Headquarters

50 2nd Street Shalimar FL 32579

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office- East District Office

107 Stahlman Ave, Destin FL 32541

Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office- North District Office

197 E. James Lee Blvd, Crestview FL 32539