May 23, 2018
Amelia Schafer, Interim Chief Executive Office of the Colorado Alzheimer’s Association and her team, presented a very prestigious award to Division Chief Jim Lorentz of the Wheat Ridge Police Department. Calling him their HERO, Amelia presented the award, Alzheimer’s Hero Award to Jim in front of his peers at the Wheat Ridge Police Annual Award ceremony for their officers.
Jim was honored for his continued commitment to training not only his own police officers, but others around the state, in Critical Incident Training. This training focuses on best practices while approaching those with memory loss and impairment of the brain, when encountering them in public and private situations. He began facilitating classes for Wheat Ridge officers nearly 12 years ago when his wife Jill Lorentz, President of Summit Resilience Training, mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s type dementia. Approximately 10 years ago he pushed for the Colorado Life Track to be offered for Wheat Ridge citizens and worked with his team to obtain the sponsor, Lutheran Hospital, to pay for the program, which is still running today. It is free of charge for their residents and offered upon qualification, to the community.
For the past thee years Lorentz has created his own training statewide for law enforcement officers (LEO’s) which he facilitates under the critical incident training program. He instructs them how to assess a person with dementia that presents memory loss and confusion, when they are approached on a traffic stop. He also teaches them how to approach them in shoplifting or wandering issues, and especially domestic violence calls. The law requires that in a domestic violence call, if there is danger of any kind, someone is hurt or property destroyed, or someone is not allowed to call for help (like the person with AD taking someone’s cell phone and not letting them call for help), then one of the parties must go to jail. Jim teaches the officer’s a way to access culpability of the person displaying cognitive loss, which will allow the LEO’s to make a determination whether that the person needs to be arrested, essentially creating a loop hole in the law. Division Chief Lorentz has trained: All Denver officers – 1700 (and continues with new LEO’s hired) over 2 years and counting, Vail, Eagle County, Avon & Edwards, City of Englewood, Wheat Ridge, Douglas County Sheriff Department, Arapahoe County Sheriff Department, and Lakewood Police. This is nearly 4000 LEO’s in the metro area and counting.
For more information on this program or to ask about this training for 1st responders call 303-240-6988 or firstname.lastname@example.org