Joseph Pangaro, a retired Ocean Township police officer, who now writes the Behind the Badge column for The Coaster has won the Top Safety Advisor for 2017 award.
This is the second time Pangaro has won the award from Autism Parenting Magazine.
Pangaro said he began writing for many publications includingAutism Parenting magazine, a nation wide magazine dedicated to helping the families of children on the spectrum.
“I began writing for this magazine several years ago after I started to concentrate on safety and security issues for all children in school.
“One specific population was the special needs community that I didn’t feel was included in these topics as much as they should be,” he said.
Pangaro was honored last year to be named the Top Security writer for 2016 by Autism Parenting magazine.
At the start of 2017 he continued to look for topics of value to write about.
“My inspiration came from an experience while speaking at the 2016 NEA teachers convention in Atlantic City. A teacher didn’t think the kids on the spectrum should be included in drills because she thought they would not tolerate the stress very well. I disagreed but I did some research with a group of professionals that work with these kids all the time,” Pangaro said.
Based on those conversations he wrote an article on how to set up and run drills that include kids on the spectrum and what to do during a drill to help these kids learn to be safe while taking into account the needs of the community.
“I was thrilled to be notified that I had been named the Top Autism security provider for 2017 based on that article,” he said.
Pangaro said he does not have a child on the Autism spectrum but has experience with those who do.
“I know quite a few kids who are. They are a loving and wonderful people so finding ways to keep them safe was a pleasure,” he said. “I will continue to write for this magazine and help this great group of people.”