Do Policemen and Policewomen need further training on dealing with the Elderly?

We've all no doubt heard about police tasering a 95 yr old Dementia patient for carrying a steak knife and exhibiting threatening behaviour. Did the police do the right thing? Can they be forgiven? If you think the police were in the wrong, how does the force fix this 'trigger happy' culture? Type your comments in the box below. Be polite! We are all allowed an opinion.

Posted by on 24 May 2023

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    It could have been handled by the Nursing staff. Unfortunately, because of the Royal Commission, all serious incidents must now be reported to the Police and this is the result. I am sure trained staff could have dealt with this situation as that is what they are trained to do (well they are supposed to be). I don't think it would be necessary to taser or handcuff an elderly frail resident with dementia. I have experienced many dangerous situations by younger and stronger individuals........force is not the answer. This is disgraceful and my sincere condolences go out to the family.

    Posted by Lauro on 30 May 2023

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    Police definitely need more training. Anyone who thinks it's OK to taser a 95 year old dementia patient has lost the plot. We're not talking about having to make a split second life saving decision here against an able bodied fit/healthy person. We're talking about a frail 95 year old who weighed 40 odd kilograms with mobility issues who used a walking frame to move about. This particular officer was a seasoned officer, not some wet behind the ears newbie without a clue. Have the police become so lazy or unfit that they can be overpowered by a 95 year old lady with a walking frame? God help us all if this is what the world is coming to. Common-sense should have prevailed. What the hell did he think the likely outcome would be from tasering a person of that age & frailty? My condolences go out to the family who have now lost their matriarch due to the stupidity of one officer.

    Posted by Tess on 30 May 2023

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    They probably do but the people in the nursing home should need more training it seems

    Posted by tony on 30 May 2023

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    Wow, who'd be a cop? You can't have an "off" day, you have to be totally focussed, polite, woke, considerate, courteous, and if you feel threatened, you need to make a split second decision whilst considering all the consequences. Thank god they get paid such a massive amount of money for their service!

    Posted by Rossrooster on 29 May 2023

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    I agree with you, if any of my children wants to be a cop, I will definitely talk them out of it. I feel for the cops.

    Posted by Chin on 30 May 2023

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    I was not there nor was I threatened with a knife. To avoid being harmed maybe tasering was the safest option albeit in hindsight maybe not the best idea. However, police are now being targeted with knives, machetes, guns, cars, and people who are violent either with mental issues or drug issues etc. Are we saying they should not protect themselves? I do hope not. Faced with these offenders I wonder how anyone would react. The police are there to protect and do a wonderful job. However, it is becoming obvious that they are under attack more so than they have been before and I feel sorry for them for the attacks they also receive via the newspapers and social media when people do not have all the facts. I do not feel the force is trigger happy but I do think they now have to defend themselves more and sometimes only have seconds to make the decision. Recently we have had police officers shot and killed, stabbed, run over, had their cars smashed into etc. I don't think the pay is enough for this type of work and then on top of it get criticized. To be faced with someone with a knife or gun threatening you and others must be terrifying. Maybe this police office had an alternative method to stop this old lady I don't know. It is being investigated and I hope impartially and not a witch hunt. I feel sad for the family and friends of the woman who apparently was a good charitable kind woman and to die in this way is truly a tragedy.

    Posted by coaster on 29 May 2023

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    It is impossible to know all the facts in such a situation. Police act according to a 'use of force' model according to assessed risk, but of course their own perceptions and judgment come into play. It is very difficult to deal with aggression from frail, elderly people with dementia. When they exhibit violence towards you, all sorts of thought come into your head as to how to deal with the situation - to protect yourself and them. (voice of experience, here). In no way am I condoning use of any force by external means - I can not see how the use of capsicum spray, taser or firearm could be considered in this case because of the risk to an elderly and frail person who may have other health issues aside from dementia. This was a terrible situation, and one that, from what I have seen in the media, suggests that staff at the facility and the police need more training in dealing with such situations. There are so many questions, even aside form the use of the taser. But I can not understand how anyone could justify the use of a taser on such a person - I would be curious to see the training in use of taser to see the situations and circumstances in which is should not be considered, to see of the frail elderly may be in an 'exclusion' category. Granted, they can be demonstrate great strength for their size, but this would surely be outweighed by the risk to the elderly person.

    Posted by SueD on 28 May 2023

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    Avoid using tasers on the elderly. Use capscium spray if needed. More training for police to handle elderly people and those who are suffering dementia.

    Posted by tassiegirl on 25 May 2023

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    Capsicum spray would be pretty risky in this situation, too. It may be that it should not be used against a person in this category) frail elderly, with potential for other health issues). Outcome may well have been the same.

    Posted by SueD on 28 May 2023

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    The police officer involved did the wrong thing and is going to be charged. This is not the first time these sorts of things have happened and cannot be tolerated.

    Posted by samsterchan on 25 May 2023

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    To hear this story was disgusting! The people involved should be fired

    Posted by Shea on 25 May 2023

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    The policemen need to be trained and taught about the concept of empathy and compassion.

    Posted by Uzma on 25 May 2023

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    They sure need more training with dealing with elderly people. He should be charged with manslaughter. commonsense should have prevailed

    Posted by Christine on 25 May 2023

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    The police should use common sense to deal with different situations, their training should be sufficient enough for them. I do understand if they are newbies or nervous in situations like this. But definitely, no excuse to use Taser or gun without analyzing the situation first.

    Posted by Jay on 25 May 2023

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    No....use commonsense and empathy and avoid tasers!!!

    Posted by mact on 25 May 2023

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    Yes, but let's not forget that they have a very difficult job to do.

    Posted by David on 25 May 2023

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    I think that far too often that the police use unnecessary force when they don't need to. They need to consider alternatives without putting their own lives at risk.

    Posted by Churnside on 25 May 2023

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    Definitely, they are too hard on good people and too weak on criminals.

    Posted by Zi on 25 May 2023

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    I think it is a very sad situation all round. Dementia is very hard to deal with but I do think there may have been another way to “disarm” the lady without the use of a taser

    Posted by Sally on 25 May 2023

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    Sadly, dementia can change the behaviour of even the most placid person but surely even an upset 95 yr old could easily be restrained more effectively by fit, and much younger, police. YES, more training in dealing with the elderly, dementia and mental health issues - please!

    Posted by sandra on 25 May 2023

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    100% they need more training full stop, seems like they are not learning about how to handle people in general, assuming all are dangerous, and particulary cannot handle those with mental issues either. Becoming more like USA gunho ready with their tasers. The constable has been charged, would not surprise me if he does not even get a fine never mind go to jail.

    Posted by LeafyGreen on 24 May 2023

  • [3] [0]

    Yes, of course they do, but it appears that so do those in charge of the residential care units.

    Posted by Spiderwoman on 24 May 2023

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