By Kate Raddatz

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — St. Paul Police are getting new insight on how to respond to calls for vulnerable people. They are using an app on their phones that’s full of vital information about the person they’re trying to help.

St Paul Police will be the first department in the state to use this Vitals app. It was developed by a Minnesota tech company with collaboration with police and the Autism Society of America.

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The idea is to help police respond to situations where a person may have disabilities you can’t see.

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The smartphone app was an idea that came up about a year and a half ago after an altercation between police and an autistic child became physical.

Basically the app requires a vulnerable person register online, then wear a bracelet, button or a card that puts out a signal. If they come within 30 to 50 feet of an officer, that officer will get a notification about the vulnerable person’s diagnosis and how they may best interact.

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All 600 of St. Paul’s officers are expected to be trained and ready to use the app by mid-September.

Kate Raddatz