Leadership Pasadena Announces Free Seminar for Families with Special Needs Help Law Enforcement, Help You

Published : Monday, March 20, 2017 | 12:38 PM

L-R: Captain Tim Sell (LP 2017), Chief Bertral Washington (LP 2016), Cindy Bengtson (LP 2017) and Michelle Cox, Director of Development Villa Esperanza 03.09.2017 (2)

Leadership Pasadena in partnership with Villa Esperanza Services, Ability First and Professional Child Development Associates is presenting a free 90-minute seminar or training for families, caregivers or staff caring for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities (I/DD) on how to work with law enforcement and first responders.

The event will be held Monday, April 24, from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Ambassador Auditorium, 131 S. St. John Ave., Pasadena.

The speaker for the evening will be Brian Herritt, a former police officer with a son on the Autism Spectrum.

Herritt trains families and police officers across the country on ways to prepare for safe and effective interactions between individuals with I/DD and law enforcement and first responders. His advice is direct and from years of experience on both sides of this situation.

Leadership Pasadena (LP) is a hands-on, community leadership program that immerses participant in Pasadena’s rich history, government, economics and world renowned organizations and institutions and also provides significant executive level leadership training. Members solicit local non-profits to learn about projects they would love to do but don’t have the staff, time or resources to complete.

This year Villa Esperanza Services was selected as one of the three community partners. “Villa Esperanza demonstrated a commitment to hands on learning and based on the success of a program in Ventura County I knew I wanted to be an active partner. Our event will deliver what we hope is the first of many educational forums to affect the safety and wellbeing for families and individuals with special abilities,” shares LP Team Member Patti Traglio.

Traglio comments, “I was deeply troubled by the disturbing news cycle the past year about the challenges and potential for harm during interactions between law enforcement and first responders and the special ability community. It’s not enough to train law enforcement personnel and first responders. Parents, professionals and those who care for family members with autism, cerebral palsy, epilepsy and intellectual and developmental disabilities need to have lifesaving information, tools and resources for safe encounters.” LP students enhance their community knowledge and their leadership skills by creating and implementing these types of important service projects for the Pasadena community.

In the audience that evening will be members of the Pasadena Fire and Police Departments, South Pasadena Police Department and PUSD. Each organization is in support of this event and will be there to meet attendees and build relationships. “Our work on behalf of great community partners will deliver education, better communication and empowerment,” remarks Traglio. “By helping to improve every day interactions, we can help save lives.”

LP wishes to acknowledge and thank the following for all their support – Pasadena Fire Union Local 809 and the Pasadena Police Officers Association for their generous sponsorship; HRock Church for donating the use of the Ambassador Auditorium; Mr. Herritt for donating his training; PUSD for providing Spanish translation assistance; and Frankie Morales for donating the design of the marketing pieces.

To register for this free seminar on Monday, April 24, from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. at the Ambassador Auditorium, 131 S. St. John Ave., Pasadena, visit https://communitysafetymeeting.eventbrite.com. Parking is free at the Ambassador Auditorium. The seminar will have a limited number of headsets for Spanish translation. Please register early to secure your headset if needed. For more information about the speaker, Brian Herritt, please visit http://www.autismcop.com/. Or for more information about the event please contact MCox@VillaEsperanzaServices.org or call (626) 449-2919, ext. 128.

About Leadership Pasadena: Leadership Pasadena is a hands-on, community leadership program that immerses you in Pasadena’s rich history, government, economics and world renowned organizations and institutions and also provides significant executive level leadership training. This is a unique program for those who want to play an active role in Pasadena’s future. LP graduates serve as informed leaders on non-profit Boards or staffs, sit on city commissions and neighborhood associations, run for public office, lead socially responsible businesses or become empowered, engaged citizens. And, they find friendships based upon similar interests that last for years. For more information please visit www.leadershippasadena.org.

About Villa Esperanza: Villa Esperanza Services, established in 1961, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the care and education of children, adults and seniors with developmental, intellectual and other disabilities. Villa offers ten programs including a comprehensive school for students up to the age of 22 years; Speech and Language Center and Occupational Therapy Clinic providing children, adults and seniors with comprehensive therapies; employment services; day programs for adults; and adult residences in Pasadena. To learn more about Villa’s collaborative approach, visit www.VillaEsperanzaServices.org.

 

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