Published January 29, 2013
Police chiefs from the Wabash Police Department in Indiana will soon require their police officers to undergo training on how to interact with individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, PoliceOne.com reported.
The training is part of new legislation passed by the Indiana House this week. The bill, from State Rep. Bill Friend, was introduced in response to an incident that occurred in June 2012, in which James Howard, a 64-year-old individual with Alzheimer’s living in a nursing home in Peru, Indiana, was tased five times by a police officer. According to PoliceOne.com, Howard had become aggressive with nursing staff and police, refused to get into an ambulance and did not listen to the officer’s commands.
After an investigation into the incident, the police officer who had tased Howard was fired for using excessive force.
Friend’s bill was created when Howard’s family petitioned Friend to require training for officers on how to deal with patients suffering from Alzheimer’s. The bill will mandate that officers be trained on how to handle those with Alzheimer’s, as well as related dementia diseases and missing endangered adults.
“This disease is becoming more widespread, and this bill will help law enforcement officers take proper action when interacting with people who have the disease,” Friend said in a statement earlier this year.
Police officers are already required to be trained for other conditions such as autism, mental illness, addiction and developmental disabilities.