July 8, 2013

Sarah Guy

Law enforcement faced with responding to increased calls for service for missing persons with Alzheimer’s disease

Alexandria, VA – The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) is pleased to announce the release of the Alzheimer’s Initiatives training video: Responding to People with Alzheimer’s Disease: Best Practices for Law Enforcement.

With more than 5 million Americans currently living with Alzheimer’s disease and approximately 500,000 new cases of this disease emerging each year, projections pronounce that there could be as many as 16 million Americans that will have Alzheimer’s by 2050. To help law enforcement protect this vulnerable population, IACP’s Alzheimer’s Initiatives program is committed to helping first responders improve their knowledge and skills in order to protect and serve this growing segment of our population.

“This training video responds to a critical and growing issue being faced by the law enforcement field. Alzheimer’s disease is often an over looked issue, and does not get the same attention that other issues we face do,” said IACP President Craig Steckler. “More frequently, law enforcement officers are finding themselves responding to reports of missing persons with this terrible disease. This video sets forth best practices and tips that can be critical in helping officers respond efficiently and effectively to those affected by Alzheimer’s disease.”

Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias are community problems, especially when a person with Alzheimer’s disease is missing. Searches are exhaustive, expensive, and often have tragic endings. As the number of persons with Alzheimer’s disease increases, the need for law enforcement intervention to assist this vulnerable population and their caregivers will also increase.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, launched its Alzheimer’s Initiatives program in 2009. The goal of the initiative is to enhance the capacity of law enforcement to handle calls involving persons with Alzheimer’s disease, thereby strengthening police-community relations and providing improved and increased services to this growing segment of our communities.

IACP’s Alzheimer’s Initiatives program provides education, resources, and training to help law enforcement better recognize those with Alzheimer’s disease or who may be at-risk; improve interactions with persons with Alzheimer’s disease to facilitate positive outcomes; and develop policies related to search-and-rescue operations, to help safeguard those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

For more information and to access the Alzheimer’s Initiative training video, please visit www.theiacp.org/alzheimers or contact IACP’s Alzheimer's Initiative staff at alzheimers@theiacp.org.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police is the world’s largest association of law enforcement executives. With over 21,000 members in more than 100 countries, the IACP serves as the professional voice of law enforcement. Building on their past success, the IACP addresses cutting edge issues confronting law enforcement through advocacy, programs and research, as well as training and other professional services. IACP is a comprehensive professional organization that supports the law enforcement leaders of today and develops the leaders of tomorrow.