Marion police introduce ‘Blue Envelope’ program

Jan 9, 2024

MARION – A new initiative aimed at fostering better communication between police officers and people with autism is coming to Marion. 

Under the “Blue Envelope” program, announced by the Marion Police Department Friday Jan. 5, a blue envelope document can be provided to officers during interactions like accidents or traffic stops informing them that someone in the vehicle has autism.

“This program is a valuable way to bring knowledge, awareness and a better understanding to interactions with people with autism,” Chief Richard Nighelli said. “It promotes inclusivity and serves as an enhanced communication tool between law enforcement and community members with autism.”

The blue envelope also contains a card with details regarding communication needs and contact information for family or guardians.

“Loud noises, flashing lights and the unexpected conditions of an accident or traffic stop can heighten anxiety and affect the person’s ability to make eye contact, respond to directions and more,” Nighelli said. “The communication cues on the blue envelopes and corresponding cards can assist an officer with effectively communicating with the individual and lead to a greater understanding of that person’s needs.”

Envelopes are free and can be found at the Marion police station. Contact Sergeant Larry Savery with questions regarding the program, the police department said.

The initiative in Marion comes just days after the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed a bill to create a statewide blue envelope program. That bill will be considered next by the Massachusetts House of Representatives.