St. Louis County officer credits Stars Program with outreach to families of special needs children

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) – In a follow up to a story we first brought you last September. A St. Louis County police officer and his connection to a young man from North County gained social media attention after the two shared a meal of burgers and fries.

It all happened after the mother of a special needs son feared an encounter with police and her nonverbal son.

Officer Ed Schlueter is kind of a big deal, to Jason Minor.  So, Monday afternoon the St. Louis County cop presented Minor with some customized mini wheels and his gratitude over their star connection.

It`s a custom cruiser for Jason Minor and a bit of gratitude from his mom to the Stars Program that put her son and Officer Ed Schlueter together.  Anita Minor said, “When the Stars Program first popped up I thought it was a great way for not only the first responders, but as a parent that the first responders in my area know my child.”

In September, she expressed her concerns about what would happen if her nonverbal son with downs syndrome met with police unexpectedly.  Cardinal Glennon`s Stars Program brought about a meeting with Officer Schlueter and Jason.

Since then, Minor and his mom have become ambassadors for Stars.

Officer Schlueter recognized the value of the program stating, “I wanted to give him something special.  We had a vehicle made for him, as a token of his hard work because he goes around with his mother helping teach what the Stars Program is.”

Stars, which introduces families of special needs children with first responders began in Jefferson County two and a half years ago, since then, it`s spread to more than 60 ambulance districts statewide in Missouri and parts of the bi-state region as well.

Tricia Casey is the Stars coordinator and she was instrumental in getting off the ground, “It started as just myself and a couple of paramedics I work with wanting to make a difference.  And what we do is connect pediatric patients with complex medical needs may they be medical or complex medical equipment that makes them technology dependent that ems might not understand.

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