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Senate passes bill to train police on neurological disorders

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Leigh Hulsey, R-Helena, is now headed to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk.

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The Alabama Senate has passed the Cade Noah Act, which mandates annual training for law enforcement officers to better equip them for interactions with citizens who have autism or other neurological disorders. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Leigh Hulsey, R-Helena, is now headed to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk.

“As the mother of a son on the autism spectrum, I know that an interaction with law enforcement can escalate quickly if the officer isn’t trained to interact with someone with a neurological disorder,” Hulsey, who named the bill after her son, Cade, and Noah Terry, said. “This bill is an important tool to help protect our citizens and law enforcement officers to reach the most positive outcome possible.”

Often referred to as invisible disabilities, people with neurological disorders can become agitated in stressful or unfamiliar situations and may not always respond to law enforcement instructions as expected. By providing training to identify and interact with special needs citizens, they will be better equipped to have effective contacts with all Alabamians.

“I have worked closely with law enforcement officers locally and on the state level throughout the process of guiding this legislation through the State House and everyone has been incredibly supportive of passing the Cade Noah Act,” Hulsey explained. “This legislation was drafted with consideration for the 70,000 Alabama families that have a loved one with an invisible disability while understanding the needs of law enforcement officers. That is so incredibly powerful.”

Hulsey was elected in 2022 to serve District 15.

The Alabama Political Reporter is a daily political news site devoted to Alabama politics. We provide accurate, reliable coverage of policy, elections and government.

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Some of the disorders that fall under the sensory issues or invisible disabilities include stroke, diabetes, autism spectrum disorder and dementia.