News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current


San Diego County program aims to bridge gap between authorities, special-needs residents

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department vehicle. (Sheriff’s Department social media photo)

The Sheriff’s Department, law enforcement agencies and local nonprofits are set to engage in a program to build awareness of special-needs residents in interactions with authorities following a unanimous vote of support from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Sept. 26.

The Blue Envelope Program aims to promote inclusivity and utilize communication tools between law enforcement and community members diagnosed with conditions or disabilities such as autism, dementia, anxiety and other conditions, according to a Sheriff’s Department announcement.

Oceanside and Escondido police departments, in addition to county sheriff’s stations such as Encinitas, San Marcos, Vista and Fallbrook, are among the agencies participating in the program, which officially launches Oct. 16.

Alzheimer’s San Diego, American Diabetes Association, ARC of San Diego, Autism Society of San Diego, Braille Institute San Diego and Deaf Community Services of San Diego are among the participating nonprofits.

County supervisors lauded the program after their vote Tuesday.

“Keeping neurodivergent individuals safe is very personal to me, especially as a parent,” Board of Supervisors Vice Chairwoman and Encinitas resident Terra Lawson-Remer (District 3) said in a county news release. “And now that through the Blue Envelope Program, our Sheriff Deputies and first responders are going to be trained on the best practices for interacting with people like my daughter.”

Under the program, individuals can display a Blue Envelope logo or present a Blue Envelope or other such branded products upon contact with authorities or other community service personnel, the Sheriff’s Department explained in its announcement. The products contain information such as the individual’s identification, contacts, medical notes, communication preferences and other documents.

“The Blue Envelope Program is a beacon of hope, promoting safer and more respectful
interactions between community members and officers,” Supervisor and former San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond (District 5) said in the county’s news release. “In our increasingly interconnected world, effective communication is more critical than ever.”

The program is voluntary and self-implemented.

“The Blue Envelope Program is part of our commitment to foster connection and understanding of the people we serve,” the Sheriff’s Department stated in its announcement.

More information about the program is available at