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Morgan City Police hope to raise awareness about autism

Autism 4.jpg
Posted at 11:44 AM, Oct 19, 2023

There's a flashy new Morgan City police vehicle driving around town, and there's a very special reason behind it.

The new unit has colorful artwork and wording designed to send a message: "Autism is not a disability, it's a different ability." The newly marked police unit has multi-colored puzzle pieces embedded within the patch and a banner that runs down the side of the unit.

The officer who drives it has a very special reason to do so. Lt. Carl Sofford and his wife Noel Birriel Sofford have a son, Drew, who happens to be autistic.

Drew is three, and he attends The Emerge Center in Baton Rouge, which specializes in teaching children with autism. Drew is in the Emerge Bloom Program which is designed to help children increase effective communication, activities of daily living, and skills. Children in Bloom work on social skills in both individual and group environments to maximize learning and growth during the program.

Drew is a fun-loving kid that loves music, running around, and flourishes when socializing with others. He particularly loves to watch things in motion.

He might be one of a kind, but he's not the only person with autism in Acadiana; Autism Speaks estimates that one in 36 people born in the US have autism.

"Chief Chad M. Adams and the Morgan City Police Department are proud to have this newly marked unit that brings attention to Autism within our fleet. We want to recognize our educators and advocates around our area that specialize in working with these wonderful children, especially with in our schools in St. Mary Parish," a release from the department says. "Again, 𝐈𝐓'𝐒 𝐍𝐎𝐓 𝐀 𝐃𝐈𝐒𝐀𝐁𝐈𝐋𝐈𝐓𝐘, 𝐈𝐓'𝐒 𝐀 𝐃𝐈𝐅𝐅𝐄𝐑𝐄𝐍𝐓 𝐀𝐁𝐈𝐋𝐈𝐓𝐘."

Here are some more photos of the truck:

Morgan City Police truck with colorful puzzle pieces painted on it
White Morgan City Police pick-up truck with "autism awareness" painted on the side