Excited Delirium Syndrome

Adopted at the 122nd Annual Conference
Chicago, Illinois
October 2015

Excited Delirium Syndrome
Submitted by:  Crime Prevention Committee
CPC.011.t15

WHEREAS, many law enforcement officials have responded to individuals acting in a bizarre, uncontrollable manner.  It is now known that many of these cases involve persons experiencing Excited Delirium Syndrome (ExDS); and

WHEREAS, the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) have recognized ExDS as a medical condition; and

WHEREAS, the symptoms of this syndrome include but are not limited to: extreme aggression or violence; excessive or superhuman strength; delusional behavior; and insensitivity to and extreme tolerance of pain (for a complete list, see IACP Training Key #671); and

WHEREAS, approximately 1 in 6 suspects in use-of-force incidents exhibited three or more of the classic signs of ExDS; and

WHEREAS, it is recognized that officers confronting individuals exhibiting ExDS characteristics are subjected to a greater threat of physical harm and injury; and

WHEREAS, by recognizing ExDS as an immediate medical emergency that may cause sudden in-custody death that creates unnecessary and unwarranted liability; and

WHEREAS, these situations require responding officers to make difficult judgments about the mental state and intent of the individual, and requires special skills and knowledge to avoid violence and possible civil litigation; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the International Association of Chiefs of Police take a leadership role in raising awareness by disseminating the Model Policy on ExDS, and encouraging law enforcement agencies to develop policies, procedures and training to enhance officer safety, protect the individual exhibiting ExDS symptoms, and mitigate liability.