Law Enforcement's Newest Beat -- Our Elderly
A Very Different Kind of Policing Helps Keep Alzheimer's Patients Safe
Editor's Note: America's booming elderly population poses special challenges for the law enforcement community, which is being trained to cope with everything from wandering Alzheimer?s patients to elder abuse and mail fraud. "Law Enforcement's Newest Beat -- Our Elderly" is an exclusive series that examines this very different policing approach. This first installment probes the unique 21st Century policing tactics required to deal with Alzheimer?s victims.
When a Washington, D.C., police officer pulled over an 82-year-old man who was driving erratically, the officer found a coherent, angry driver who challenged him to either arrest him or leave him alone. The police officer decided to choose the latter option. Later that evening, the driver, who suffered from Alzheimer?s disease and had wandered from home, was reported missing. Almost eight hours after the traffic stop, the missing man was traveling on Interstate 95 when his car swerved into the median and struck two tractor-trailers, resulting in his death.(MORE)
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