Union County officially rolls out the Blue Envelope Program across all 21 Municipalities
The Union County Board of County Commissioners are proud to announce the full rollout of the Blue Envelope Program, as part of Union County Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados’ “Equity and Inclusion” initiatives, through his 2023 Chairman’s theme of “Building a Stronger Union County,” in partnership with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Sheriff’s Department, the County Police Department, and the Union County Police Chief’s Association. These initiatives are geared towards fostering inclusivity and promoting safer interactions between law enforcement officers and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
“In a collaborative effort, all 21 municipal and county law enforcement agencies have come together to champion the Blue Envelope Program, a symbol of our commitment to enhancing safety, inclusivity, and understanding for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” said Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados. “We are committed to the safety of our communities, and this is just another significant step forward in the right direction.”
The Blue Envelope Program is accessible to all Union County residents on the Autism Spectrum. Residents can obtain a Blue Envelope at their local police departments throughout the county.
“Each of these organizations recognized the significance of this initiative and swiftly united to get to work on this program,” said Union County Prosecutor William Daniel. “We take immense pride in the dedication and effort invested in the training and implementation of this program and I am looking forward to seeing its successes.”
The Blue Envelope Program introduces a simple yet effective tool that contains essential information for drivers with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This includes a copy of their driver’s license, vehicle registration, insurance details, and an emergency contact card. Additionally, the envelope provides clear instructions to drivers on how to navigate a traffic stop and interact with law enforcement officers in a manner that promotes clarity and safety.
Key features of the Blue Envelope Program include:
Every officer in Union County, including local officers in all 21 municipalities, will undergo specialized training to develop a deeper understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder and the best practices for engaging with individuals during traffic stops.
Drivers with Autism Spectrum Disorder can present the blue envelope to the officer upon being stopped, allowing officers to quickly recognize the situation and adapt their approach accordingly.
The envelope includes guidance for officers to simplify requests and minimize the risk of misunderstandings or potential escalation. Additionally, officers are advised to contact the person listed on the emergency contact card for assistance if needed.
Verbal or Nonverbal Indication
A checked-off box on the envelope indicates whether the driver is verbal or nonverbal, which aids officers in communicating effectively.
“Every single police department in Union County is proud to be a part of this initiative,” said Elizabeth Police Chief Giacomo Sacca and President of the Union County Police Chief’s Association. “Our officers have undergone thorough briefings and trainings to ensure they are well-versed in the proper protocols, and they are eager to put their training into action.”
Union County Law Enforcement Agencies
For additional updates and details about the Blue Envelope Program and other initiatives under Commissioner Chairman Sergio Granados’ “Equity & Inclusion” initiatives, please visit www.ucnj.org/inclusion.