The Niagara University First Responders Disability Awareness Training (FRDAT) program is the home to the nation’s only comprehensive law enforcement disability awareness training. The program is utilized in New York State through the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and is part of the Basic Course for Police Officers whereby all new recruits receive the program.

The signature program is the Train the Trainer whereby qualified officers take the two day course and become certified to train their personnel. Some of officers stand above others, Steve MacNeal is one that rose to the top. He is one of three people in the state who is trained in both Firefighter/EMS and Law Enforcement. He committed to delivering the program to personnel and maintained an on-going relationship with the NU FRDAT office.

Beyond that, Candidate MacNeal developed the ID Me program recognizing the issues related to individuals with developmental (and other) disabilities have when they wander, elope or get lost. This is an incredible program that NU FRDAT has introduced nationally.

I have trained over 1,000 officers across the nation, the majority from NYS. Contrary to the perception being painted, most have a passion to respond to individuals in need, especially individuals with disabilities. Steve is an officer I reference when I train law enforcement on what is expected of officers regarding accurate, appropriate and professional response with individuals with disabilities.

David V. Whalen, Founder/Lead Trainer

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