Many diabetics are pulled over for erratic driving in this country on a daily basis. Their driving is erratic because of a diabetic high or low. Police officers often think these drivers are either driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Depending on the situation, diabetics are arrested, or sent to the hospital and are subjected to Field Sobriety Test.
As you know I am very much involved in my community. I am the President of our Police Community Relations Council. There are 8 other such Presidents in the city. Quarterly we meet with the Police Commissioner to discuss problems, training and other factors involving the Police Department and the Community.
In February, I had the opportunity to sit on a Police Promotional Interview Panel. Just before the beginning of the interviews, the Police Commissioner announced that our police officers will be trained to recognize diabetic illnesses. Besides myself, one of the other Presidents is a diabetic.
When he announced that officers would be trained to recognize diabetic problems not only for drivers but people they encounter on the street. I was so excited. I told him that both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can give an officer the impression that a person is either drunk from alcohol or high on drugs. I asked him to make sure they check the person for a bracelet or necklace and their wallets for cards.
I think every police officer, deputy, state trooper and sheriff in this country should be trained to recognize diabetic problems. I also think that to have this happen all of us diabetics should contact our police department heads and our local and state elected officials to make this training mandatory.
With proper training, regarding diabetes, I think there will be less incidents when diabetics in distress encounter an officer.
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