Bill would mean dementia training for police officers

By Sarah Seward

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana police officers would get more information on handling Hoosiers suffering with dementia if passed by the Indiana House on Tuesday becomes law.

House Bill 1044 – which now moves to the Senate – will require police officers to add information about Alzheimer’s disease and dementia to their yearly training.

Rep. Bill Friend, R-Macy, authored the bill after an incident in his district in which an older man suffering with Alzheimer’s disease had an episode during which he physically hit a few people and was tasered five times by a police officer.

“The family of the victim asked if there weren’t something we could do, if there wasn’t someway we could strengthen the laws, change the laws or at least be specific to this disease and how individuals are treated by law enforcement officers,” Friend said.

Currently, Indiana police officer must complete yearly training on how to handle those with conditions like autism and other mental illnesses. This bill adds Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia to the list of training.

The measure passed in the House 96-0.

The bill will now move to the Senate where it will be sponsored by Sen. Randy Head, R-Logansport, and Sen. Jim Arnold, D-LaPorte.

Sarah Seward is a reporter for, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.

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