WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - It was back in June of 2012 when a Peru Police Officer used a stun gun three times on a 64-year-old man with Alzheimer's disease, for being combative.
"The way that you need to de-escalate somebody that's exhibiting aggressive behaviors due to dementia, is a lot different than some way that you're going to de-escalate somebody that might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol," said University Place Executive Director Jeremy Gerrish.
As the Executive Director of a senior living community in West Lafayette, Gerrish said he knows all about dealing with patients who suffer from dementia.
"All of our staff goes through 12 hours of training every year on dementia-related diseases," said Gerrish.
Now, all law enforcement officers will be required to go through training as well.
On May 9, Governor Mike Pence signed House Enrolled Act 1044 into law.
The law requires officers to take part in yearly training on how to interact with patients with dementia.
State Representative Sheila Klinker co-sponsored the bill, and said it couldn't have come at a better time.
"Our population is growing older and living longer," said Klinker. "So, law enforcement is certainly a part of this situation in making sure these people are safe."
"It's a real skill to be able to interact and live in one of those resident's reality that they have at that moment," said Gerrish. "Being able to enter that reality and navigate them to a safe place and emotionally quite place, it's incredibly important."
The law will go into effect on July, 1.
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