NYPD K-9s vested in ceremony honoring kids living with autism
Several organizations and families of fallen officers with the New York Police Department held a special ceremony and a day of fun in Brooklyn to honor of Autism Awareness Month.
A K-9 vesting ceremony took place at Floyd Bennet Field where four bloodhounds were given new tracking vests, thanks to a foundation created in honor of a little boy who is on the spectrum -- Christopher's Voice.
The organizations Blue Lives Matter K9, the Detective Brian Simonsen Foundation, NYPD With Arms Wide Open and the Detective WenJian Liu Foundation also took part in the ceremony.
Bloodhounds were chosen because they're used for tracking and trailing, often when a missing child is involved.
"A lot of autism individuals are reported missing. Seeing that it was Autism Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight the good work they do," said Lindsay Ekizian with Blue Lives Matter K9.
Jeanyne Blackwell's family was one of several invited to the event. She is raising a child on the spectrum.
"It can be really, really hard at times working at a hard job and then going home, and you still have a big job to do," Blackwell said.
"It's about knowing that they have people out there for them and really coming together and helping each other as a police family," said NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.
Blackwell has a message for other parents raising a child under similar circumstances:
"These are cards that you were dealt and they can be played," she said. "It's hard, but you can do it."