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Kokomo Tribune reports that officers currently undergo training on autism, mental illness, addictive disorders, mental retardation and developmental disabilities. State Rep. Bill Friendâ€™s proposal would add Alzheimerâ€™s disease and related senile dementia to that list and would require six hours of training, which would inform officers how to take appropriate action when interacting with people who have Alzheimer's, a disease that is becoming more common in Indiana, Friend said.
"As it becomes more prevalent, instances of officers encountering people with Alzheimer's will likely go up," he said. "With more training, hopefully we'll avoid a situation like this from ever happening again."
Friend told the newspaper that appeals from the family involved prompted him to propose the legislation.
Virginia Howard, whose husband, James, was subjected to a stun gun multiple times at Millerâ€™s Merry Manor Nursing Home in June, said Friendâ€™s action was exactly what she wanted.
"I think it's fantastic," she told the newspaper. "If they can get that passed, it'd be wonderful ... This is what I wanted done. I want the law changed."
The bill had its first reading Tuesday in the House, and was referred to the Committee on Veterans Affairs and Public Safety.
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