IACP’s Alzheimer’s Initiatives Success Stories – Part II

There are many examples of how the Alzheimer’s Initiatives training positively impacted participants. Read Lieutenant Michael Magiera’s story, previously posted on the IACP blog. Today, we will focus on another success story out of South Dakota.

Chief Chris Misselt- Box Elder Police Department, Box Elder, SD

“We have contact with a significant number of people experiencing behavioral emergencies of various types. I have had several such contacts since the training in Plano. While none of the subjects were found to be patients with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, the training did provide me with the tools to do a bit of differential diagnosis of sorts, ruling out Alzheimer’s and dementia as possibilities in the resolution of the call and activation of resources for the subject.

In securing authorization to attend the training, I found a great deal of enthusiasm with my city government for the course. A couple of our elected officials have had their own experiences with family members or friends experiencing Alzheimer’s and dementia and were excited to see us take on greater capabilities with those issues.

Information gained in Plano has been integrated into our recruit training, crisis response discussions and planning, and things we consider in identifying service needs with partner community organizations and mental health agencies. Further, I have also integrated a discussion and scenario on Alzheimer’s and dementia in my state basic law enforcement academy first responder curriculum. During that training, recruits receive an Alzheimer’s/dementia scenario for resolution and group discussion.

Additionally, I am also active in our Emergency Medical Services system as a provider and instructor. I have begun the process of integrating some of the information learned in Plano into EMS curricula I teach or have instructional contributions in, and will be offering in-service training on those items at points in the future.

I also have been personally affected by Alzheimer’s/dementia. Many years ago, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and began her own “long good-bye.” I did not understand much about it at the time, but have since learned more. The training helped fill in some remaining gaps in my own knowledge, understanding, and memories of that difficult time.

More recently, I learned that a friend, family member of some fellow officers, and a person of some note in our community has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. While my contributions to conversations have not necessarily been new information to them, I am much more conversant on the topic than I otherwise might have been. ”

If you would like to find out more information about the Alzheimer’s Initiatives training program or would like to sign up for a training session in your area, please visit www.theiacp.org/Alzheimers or contact us at Alzheimers@theiacp.org.

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