NORTHPORT, AL (WBRC) - Lt. Mark Glenn was one of two Northport police officers who accepted a certificate on behalf of the department from the West Alabama Agency on Aging.
“We always want to respond to different calls in the community appropriately. Being able to recognize mental health issues will help our officers respond as they should,” Glenn said.
Glenn and others in the department are being called the first in west Alabama to get mandatory training when it comes to dealing with people with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s.
“Being educated on dementia and how to react is going to help them in the long run,” according to Niki Poe.
The training is free.
Poe, the Aging Services coordinator for WAAA, wanted officers to become sensitive to those who may not even realize they need help.
“Give them some time to respond to any questions they have. Give them yes or no questions they can easily answer. And also repeat themselves and try to give eye contact,” Poe continued.
“Keep them calm. Be able to recognize displaced aggression,” Glenn added.
This is just the start of this type of training in the Tuscaloosa area. E911 operators are the next group to get training on helping people with dementia and Alzheimer’s.