News Release

TEWKSBURY – Chief Ryan Columbus is pleased to report that the Tewksbury Police Department is participating in the Blue Envelope Project, which aims to improve interactions between law enforcement and individuals on the autism spectrum. 

The Blue Envelope Project was created via a partnership among the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, Massachusetts State Police, Advocates for Autism of Massachusetts, and The Arc of Massachusetts, along with input from individuals with autism and their families. 

The project offers a blue envelope to any driver on the autism spectrum. The driver can store their vital driving documents — vehicle registration, driver’s license and a contact card — in an easy-to-find envelope that can be provided to police in the event of a traffic stop. 

The outside of each envelope contains tips and instructions to that will guide law enforcement members who encounter someone on the autism spectrum.

The goals of the program are to enhance understanding among police, reduce anxiety for drivers on the autism spectrum, streamline communication between police and those on the spectrum even in potentially high stress situations like traffic stops, and to encourage preparedness on the part of individuals on the autism spectrum. 

The blue envelopes are available at any state police barracks and at the Tewksbury Police Department. The envelopes may also be available at other local police departments, but residents are advised to call ahead first to check on availability.

“This is a great and important program that will improve interactions for both police officers and those on the autism spectrum,” said Chief Columbus. “We are pleased to be able to participate in this groundbreaking new program and encourage all those on the autism spectrum to obtain an envelope.”

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