Pflugerville PD receives excellence award for autism interaction program

Pflugerville Police Department Lt. Chet Vronka addresses attendees at the Oct. 12 City Council meeting. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)
Pflugerville Police Department Lt. Chet Vronka addresses attendees at the Oct. 12 City Council meeting. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

Pflugerville Police Department Lt. Chet Vronka addresses attendees at the Oct. 12 City Council meeting. (Brian Rash/Community Impact Newspaper)

One year after the Pflugerville Police Department launched a program to promote positive interactions between officers and people with autism or related conditions, the Texas Municipal League has recognized the effort through an excellence award.

The TML in early October awarded the city of Pflugerville with a 2021 Municipal Excellence Award for the PPD program Autism Buddies.

City Council recognized the department and the award during an Oct. 12 regular meeting.

"This is a very special program for us, and so, I applaud you," Mayor Victor Gonzales said to officers during the Oct. 12 meeting.

Through the program, participants receive an ID card with the person's name, photo, date of birth, identifying characteristics and emergency contact information.


"By providing an ID, officers can help the community, specifically those nonverbal citizens, reduce the stress of an interaction with officers," a city document states.

Learn more about the Autism Buddies program by clicking here.
By Brian Rash
Brian has been a reporter and editor since 2012. He wrote about the music scene in Dallas-Fort Worth before becoming managing editor for the Graham Leader in Graham, Texas, in 2013. He relocated to Austin, Texas, in 2015 to work for Gatehouse Media's large design hub. He became the editor for the Lake Travis-Westlake publication of Community Impact in August 2018. From there he became a dual-market editor for Community Impact's New Braunfels and San Marcos-Buda-Kyle editions. Brian is now a senior editor for the company's flagship papers, the Round Rock and Pflugerville-Hutto editions.


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