Earlier this month Ryan Paul of Woodbridge, New Jersey, called 911. Ryan is 12-years-old and has autism. His parents taught him to call 911 for emergencies, and he could not find his teddy bear. So he told the dispatcher, "The teddy bear fell down again. Don't worry. I'll rescue you. Goodbye again. See you again." Ryan hung up before the dispatcher could reply, and protocol demands an officer be sent for all terminated calls. So officer Khari Manini arrived at Ryan's house shortly after the call.
Manzini was just the man for the job. Using his specialized training received from the POAC Autism Services for dealing with special needs citizens, he was able to work with Ryan and figure out why he called 911. Then the officer joined in the search until he found the missing bear, and Ryan was delighted. "Ryan was very happy to see me," he said later, "and I was actually happy to see him, and happy and that we had gotten the teddy bear back." Ryan's parents promised they will now teach him what kind of emergencies warrant a 911 call.