N.J. may review police procedures on dealing with disoriented individuals

Some Democrats in the New Jersey Legislature want to make sure police are trained to deal with individuals in diabetic shock.

The lawmakers’ concerns stem from an incident in 2010 when a Pennsylvania man who appeared to be intoxicated ended up in a struggle with New Jersey State Police, says Assemblyman Herb Conaway. The officers didn’t recognize the man was in distress brought on by low blood sugar.

“It does bring into question what kinds of procedures are used in cases like these where someone seems to be disoriented on the road, showing signs of intoxication, slurring speech, perhaps a near loss of consciousness might be coming,” said Conaway, D-Camden. “So we need to look at that.”

Conaway, who is a physician, says the investigation will determine whether legislation is needed to improve the way police respond to disoriented people.

The executive director of the Diabetes Foundation in New Jersey says the procedures and training for emergency personnel to deal with cases of diabetic shock need to be reviewed.

“With close to a million people in New Jersey having diabetes. Somebody better be paying attention,” says Roberta Schmidt, executive director of the Diabetes Foundation in New Jersey. “The more diabetics we have, the more they’re going to come across these problems.”

The man who was injured the Burlington County incident has filed a federal lawsuit against the State Police.

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