Ohio Bill Would Require Law Enforcement Officers be Trained on Interacting With People With Dementia

Would-be officers would get at least two hours of instruction on how to interact with dementia patients in peace officer training school, under a bipartisan, newly introduced Ohio House bill.

Advance Ohio Media, Cleveland
Would-be officers would get at least two hours of instruction on how to interact with dementia patients in peace officer training school, under a bipartisan, newly introduced Ohio House bill.
Would-be officers would get at least two hours of instruction on how to interact with dementia patients in peace officer training school, under a bipartisan, newly introduced Ohio House bill.
Dreamstime/TNS

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Would-be cops would get at least two hours of instruction on how to interact with dementia patients in peace officer training school, under a bipartisan, newly introduced Ohio House bill.

House Bill 441 comes as Ohio is on the brink of a demographic shift. Seniors are expected to outnumber those 18 and younger, according to the Alzheimer’s Association in Ohio.

Sponsored by Reps. Phil Plummer, a Dayton Republican who served as Montgomery County sheriff, and Thomas West, a Canton Democrat who worked for 25 years in mental health, HB 441 would require police to learn the following:

“Making sure that our peace officers and first responders are equipped to identify and effectively interact with Ohioans with dementia is crucial,” West said in a statement. “Our bill would ensure that they receive the necessary training to handle these situations and ensure the safety of our loved ones with this disease.”

The Alzheimer’s Association says one in three seniors has dementia and about 220,000 Ohioans currently live with Alzheimer’s and dementia – a number that’s expected to grow by more than 20% over the next five years.

“Those who are suffering with dementia deserve to have trained professionals looking out for them and working with them at all times,” Plummer said.

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