Rome police partner for autism awareness

Department joins Kelberman Center Community Inclusion Partnership effort


The Kelberman Center recently partnered with Rome Police to provide autism training for officers through the Community Inclusion Partnership.

The Kelberman Center Community Inclusion Partnership (CIP) is a new initiative that involves community organizations and businesses acting in conjunction with The Kelberman Center, supporting autism awareness and developing more inclusive environments within the community.

The Kelberman Center provides inclusion and awareness trainings and on-going support to businesses, and in turn, the center looks for businesses and organizations to provide internship opportunities for the people they support, as well as help in promoting community awareness for Kelberman Center awareness events and activities.

The pilot partnership for the Community Inclusion Partnership is with Rome Police Department. The Kelberman Center recently provided autism awareness training to 59 police officers, equipping them with the knowledge and tools needed to foster a positive interaction with individuals on the autism spectrum and other developmental disabilities. The training was presented by Laura Mangano-Smith, coordinator of Social Inclusion Initiative at The Kelberman Center, and Licensed Medical Social Worker Carlyne Hazer, at the Kelberman Center.

The Kelberman Center also prepared and donated more than 20 “autism kits” to officers for their police cars, which included fidget spinners and other sensory items. 

As a part of the partnership, Rome Police hosted Jonathan as an intern, a man whose dream was to become a police officer. Jonathan obtained his security guard certification through the Kelberman Center and now his dream has come true, as he works alongside police officers learning about the field.

For more information on how an organization can be included in the Community Inclusion Partnership, email Leanne Mundell at

The Kelberman Center is the leading provider of autism services for children, adults and families in the Mohawk Valley and Central New York. The center provides comprehensive programming and services for people throughout all phases of life, from early childhood through adulthood, including: Home and Community Based, Education, Clinical, Residential and Recreation.

The goal of the Kelberman Center is to meet people and families where they are in life and to support them every step of the way on their journeys navigating autism. The expert staff at The Kelberman Center empower the people they support with specialized, one-of-a-kind programs, resources, support and wrap-around services, creating a fulling, life-enriching experience for people and families.


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