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MADISON COUNTY, Ill. – The sheriff’s department in Madison County is using a P.I.N. Sticker Program (potentially impaired or non-verbal person) to let law enforcement, firefighters and EMS partners know that someone may have a communication barrier, and if authorities try to talk with them, they may be non-verbal.

 “Any tool that we can have in our arsenal that allows us to seamlessly communicate effectively, especially in times of crisis, going into an incident or a situation, already knowing that there’s a communication barrier, we can prepare for that, we can prepare ourselves to effectively communicate,” Madison County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Kristopher Tharp said.

Those with communication barriers are asked to pick up a free sticker and place it on the back window of their car and on their front door, or front window glass.

Residents with communication barriers or their caretakers can get a free sticker at Madison County Sheriff’s Office, TRIAD, or St. John’s Community Care, which helped fund the project.

The stickers are color-coded, but only police officers and first responders know what each color represents.

“We aren’t releasing what the colors represent,” Tharp said. “The only ones that know that are the participants and the first responders, that to ensure that we don’t enhance the participants’ vulnerability to victimization.”