BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — A new bill by an Alabama state lawmaker will help police officers better respond to people who have disabilities.

Rep. Leigh Hulsey from Helena said HB356 will provide training for officers on how to deal with individuals who have sensory needs or invisible disabilities. HB356, also known as the Noah Cade Act, will provide officers with one hour of mandatory training every other year.

The bill is special to Hulsey because it’s her first piece of legislation she has introduced in the state house, and it’s named after her son who has autism.

“My son gave me a card for Mother’s Day, and he always write me a little note,” Hulsey said. “But this time it was really sweet, and it said ‘Wow, it’s not every day that some can say their mom named a law after them.’”

Hulsey introduced a similar bill while serving on the Helena City Council.

She said police lights and sirens can be painful for individuals dealing with sensory disabilities, which is why she said bills like this are helpful for officers because it provides them with de-escalation techniques.

“Try to bring those things down, turn the lights off, bring our voices down to a lower pitch,” Hulsey said. “Things that would make that environment less painful for them and give them the ability to kind of process and decompress and be able to interact without a combative behavior.”

Calera Police Department Chief David Hyche said this training must be made a priority.

“If you’re not getting better every day at your job at this job, you’re not keeping up because this job changes all the time,” Hyche said.

The bill is expected to go into effect January 2024.