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Healthcare Heroes 2020

Detective Christopher Greco, New Rochelle Police Department

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Photo by Stefan Ratdke

President, Police Association of New Rochelle;
Cofounder, Christopher’s Voice

As a New Rochelle police detective, Christopher Greco automatically qualifies as a hero. Yet it’s his tireless support of autistic children that has earned him praise throughout Westchester and beyond.

   In 2017, as president of the New Rochelle Police Benevolent Association, Greco created the New Rochelle Police Autism Patch Challenge. Each April (World Autism Month), New Rochelle’s police cars or uniforms display autism-awareness patches, and officers review their autism training protocols and raise funds for local autism charities. The movement spread throughout Westchester in just its first year and since then to more than 300 agencies nationwide. Today, the Autism Patch Challenge benefits thousands of children across the country.

   Autism awareness is a cause that hits home with Greco. His 13-year-old son, Christopher, is on the autism spectrum and has other health issues that have left him hospitalized for two years. “As a police detective, there were always cops and robbers. And then you have a child with autism, and it becomes kids with special needs, too,” Greco says.

   The Autism Patch Challenge is just one way Greco serves the autism community’s needs. He and his wife also created a charitable foundation, called Christopher’s Voice, which offers free training to help first responders detect autistic behavior and teach them how to respond to service calls involving autistic individuals. Christopher’s Voice also provides sensory kits to first responders and donates GPS trackers to families who have children at risk of wandering.

“My hope is to get as big as we can with Christopher’s Voice, to help as many families of children and police departments as possible.”