AUGUSTA — The state of Maine is launching a new program that could help some Mainers with disabilities.
The Contact Person Program is designed to help Mainers with cognitive impairment. It was originally sponsored in 2019 by Rep. Dan Costain, a retired police officer.
“As a law enforcement officer, many times in my career 35 years in police work I could have used this bill,” he said.
Supporters of the program say when a person with cognitive impairment comes in contact with a police officer, they often have trouble communicating important information.
A confidential database will provide law enforcement officers with voluntary contact information provided by an individual or legal guardian who signs up for the program.
“Law enforcement will quickly be able to find information right from their cruiser computer or their two-way radio regarding who to contact to get help for people have difficulty communicating with law enforcement,” said Maine State Trooper Brian Scott.
To sign up for this free, voluntary, confidential Contact Person Program, simply visit any police department in the state of Maine.
“I want to encourage those with a medical condition that may place them at risk, or person suffering from a neurocognitive disorder such as dementia, a mental illness or somewhere on the autism disorder spectrum to sign up for this program. Sign up immediately or legal guardians can sign them up,” Scott said.
The Contact Person Program is used in two states across the country, namely Florida and Maine. Law enforcement officials hope the Contact Person Program is implemented across all states in the near future.