The 41st Precinct will host its fifth annual Autism Awareness Walk on April 19.
Det. Herawattie Jeeuth, who has been a cop for 25 years, launched the program in honor of her niece who is autistic. She told the Bronx Times her family understands what it is like to deal with autism and the hope is the event brings together Bronxites who share similar stories.
According to Jeeuth, attendance at the walk has increased each year and cops and residents come from throughout the borough. She noted that in the past there was a stigma to talk about autism, but today that is gone.
“Families are not in denial,” she explained. “The more we have this (the walk), the more families are feeling connected.”
The walk raises about $500 each year for organizations like Autism Speaks and Cops for Autism-Related Education Services (C.A.R.E.S.), but the detective explained it’s not about the money. She stressed that the event is a time when people with autistic children can meet, network, have fun and sometimes even get emotional.
It begins 11 a.m. next Monday and she hopes teachers and students join the walk as well.
“We need the schools to come out and show support for these families,” she said.