Thanks to Fantastic Friends of the San Fernando Valley for inviting us to facilitate
two terrific safety events on March 24, 2018 in Chatsworth, CA!

First, eleven LAPD officers engaged in Experience Autism®.
Our evidence-based training helps officers to recognize
and respond to people with autism and similar conditions.

Officers participated in several simulations that gave them
insight into the features of autism. They learned how to interact
with individuals on the spectrum and accommodate their needs.

Next, nearly two dozen youth with exceptional needs arrived,
with their families and mentors. Youth were paired up with the
trained officers to learn to BE SAFE together!

The audience watched scenes from BE SAFE The Movie,
followed by fun activities that were actually
a chance to practice life-saving skills.

Everyone had a great time while learning critical safety skills
like asking for help, following instructions from the police,
showing empty hands to the police, and
never touching an officer’s safety equipment.

The many benefits of the day were clear to see

  • Officers, youth and their families got more comfortable with one another and formed personal relationships.
  • Youth became familiar with police procedures, instructions and tools.
  • Officers had the chance to know, interact and communicate with diverse members of the community they serve.

All of these things together can help keep youth, adults and officers
safe in any kind of police encounter, even an emergency situation
like a school evacuation or mass shooting.

Thanks to everyone who made this bridge-building event possible including
officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Community Relationship

Division, Foothill Division and Youth Programs Unit.

We appreciate Lisa Carreon of Fantastic Friends for organizing the event,

Ric Mandell of Farmers Insurance and other funders,
Regency Lighting of Chatsworth for providing the space and

everyone who donated the delicious food!

If you want to bring Experience Autism® and BE SAFE to your community to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the special needs community where you live, contact Emily Iland or call 661-347-8557 .

Learn more at,, and



Emily Iland is an award-winning author, researcher, film-maker, advocate and leader in the autism field. She is the mother of a young man with ASD and brings personal experience and insight to her professional roles.

She enjoys teaching as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Special Education at California State University, Northridge. Emily is also an engaging professional speaker and trainer, presenting a variety of topics in English and Spanish across the US and abroad.



Tom Iland was diagnosed with autism at 13, and has worked hard to achieve many of his goals: full-time employment, driving, living in his own apartment and having a girlfriend.

He has presented numerous workshops and trainings for: The Autism Society of Los Angeles, The Council of Exceptional Children, Future Horizons, The HELP Group, Autism Conferences of America, and Loyola-Marymount University just to name a few. He is also on the Board of Directors for a number of not-for-profit organizations including Autism Speaks, The Art of Autism, and Junior Chamber International. His public speaking skills have made him one of only about 4,000 Distinguished Toastmasters in the world!

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