UK Police Officer with Autism Shares How His Condition Has Worked to His Advantage
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UK Police Officer with Autism Shares How His Condition Has Worked to His Advantage

Lindsay Elizabeth —
Apr 11, 2018

“Telling people I have autism was the best thing I ever did. Pretending to be like you guys is exhausting … Now I don’t feel the need to pretend to be someone else.” -- Sergeant Adam O’Loughlin

(The UK) – [] – Sergeant Adam O’Loughlin has served as police officer for the city of Bath, England, for the past 17 years. Always a stickler for following the rules, he views the law as “black and white.”

But it wasn’t until two years ago that Sgt. O’Loughlin discovered something about himself that helped to explain his rigid approach to his work: he has autism. 

In a recent interview with the BCC, O’Loughlin discussed how his diagnosis has helped to shed light on various aspects of his career as an officer. 

While driving along his usual patrol route in Bath, O’Loughlin explained how frustrated he used to get when people would break the law right in front of him.

“I’m wearing a uniform, I’m in a police car, why do these people think it’s OK to break the law in front of me?” he exclaimed.

O’Loughlin explained that being a stickler comes naturally to him, and he’s had to work to learn how to let less serious offenses go.

“When I first started, I’d stop people for these kinds of things all the time, and whoever was crewed with me would get grumpy,” he said. “Even now, colleagues joke about all this stuff around me affecting me when it doesn’t need to. I get really exercised about it. Every single day, I have to tell myself to let stuff like that go. I just have to breathe and not think about it.”

During the interview, a motorcyclist pulled up beside O’Loughlin’s police car, reporting seeing a man using his phone while driving. But after the driver denied the accusation, O’Loughlin struggled over whether to contact the man’s cell phone provider to investigate the claim further.

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