The Gilbert Police Department Renews Certified Autism Center™ Designation, Continues Enhancing Accessibility

Taking a significant step towards fostering inclusivity and support for autistic individuals and their families, the Gilbert Police Department announces the renewal of its Certified Autism Center™ designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). This designation underscores the department’s unwavering commitment to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all residents, and requires at least 80% of staff complete training on how to approach, communicate with, and support autistic or sensory-sensitive members of the community.

Gilbert PD

Lieutenant Chris Timmins of the Gilbert Police Department emphasizes, “This training better equips our first responders to understand and recognize some of the intricacies of autism or other cognitive differences. We can utilize this training not only to assist individuals who may feel overstimulated or stressed but also to effectively communicate with them and their families during times of crisis. Our dedication to diversity, equity and inclusivity is exemplified by the support from our leadership in providing us with this training to ensure the safety of everyone in our community. As both an employee of the Gilbert Police Department and a parent of a child on the spectrum, I am deeply grateful for this commitment.”

Gilbert PD

“The Gilbert Police Department has prioritized safety and inclusivity, benefiting all they serve. This designation underscores their unwavering commitment to delivering top-notch support for autistic and sensory-sensitive individuals. We hope that other departments  will follow suit,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman.

Special programs offered by the Gilbert Police Department since becoming a CAC include:

Gilbert PDBring Me Home Program: The Gilbert Police Department offers residents a platform to share crucial information for family members who may struggle to communicate basic details. Developed to aid individuals with disabilities who may require additional assistance during emergencies, this program ensures prompt and accurate support, especially when individuals are unable to speak or identify themselves properly, or if they exhibit behavior that could be misinterpreted.

Gilbert PDS.A.F.E. Program: Partnering with Trader Joe’s, the Gilbert Police Department introduced S.A.F.E., an innovative initiative providing a calmer shopping experience and additional assistance for those with disabilities. During S.A.F.E. events, Trader Joe’s creates a serene atmosphere by eliminating in-store announcements and reducing noise during checkout, while also offering sunglasses for those sensitive to light. Expanding its reach, the S.A.F.E. Program joined forces with Gilbert Fire & Rescue to host the inaugural S.A.F.E. Public Safety Day in April 2024. This event offered autistic and sensory-sensitive community members a safe environment to interact with firefighters and police officers, including experiencing fire truck ride-alongs, simulated police traffic stops and up-close encounters with police and fire gear.

For over two decades, IBCCES has led in cognitive disorder training and certification for professionals globally, incorporating evidence-based content and perspectives from autistic individuals. Additionally, IBCCES offers ongoing support, renewal requirements and resources to ensure continuous learning and a lasting impact.


Committed to providing The Global Standard for Training and Certification in The Field of Cognitive Disorders – IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs are recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders.

About the Gilbert Police Department

The Gilbert Police Department serves the thriving and growing community of Gilbert, Arizona with nearly 300,000 people. The Gilbert Police Department employs over 560 sworn and professional staff who together work to fulfill Gilbert’s mission: Anticipate. Create. Help people. 

Respect for individual rights is the basis of our constitution and the cornerstone of our values at the Gilbert Police Department. We strive to provide the best-in-class service to make people feel safe in their homes, schools, businesses and on the roadways. We will serve as law enforcement leaders in protecting and assisting all people in our community through effective problem solving, professional service and the relentless pursuit of those who victimize our citizens and compromise public safety. Visit or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

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