5 Tips for Interacting with Police

April 17, 2014



Marcia Lee Aulebach-Lagomarsino with her service dog, Maggie

Have you ever been stopped by the police because of tremor or movement issues related to a movement disorder?

Marcia Lee Aulebach-Lagomarsino provides guidance based on her recent experience of getting stopped by police. Marcia raises awareness for Young Onset Parkinson’s issues through the MLee Young Onset Parkinson’s Support Group.

5 Tips for Interacting with Police

  • Be prepared! Carry documentation of your diagnosis and medications.
  • Be polite with the police officer. Give the officer your medication cards, doctor’s note, and identification. Explain to the officer that you have a movement disorder and stressful situations can make your symptoms worse.
  • Do not hesitate to ask to speak with a supervisor if you are experiencing problems communicating with the officer.
  • Be proactive! Visit your local police and/or fire department. Introduce yourself and make them aware of the handicap person living in their community.  This can be helpful if they are called to your home and can help the local volunteers better understand your needs.
  • Understand your rights under the American Disability Act.
    • The American Disability Act is a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by employers, businesses and state and local governments. Law enforcement agencies, as part of state and local government, must take steps to communicate effectively and make reasonable changes in policies, practices and procedures to provide people with disabilities the same services and protections as provided to other members of the public, within certain limitations.

About aperseghin

Andrea Perseghin is the Associate Director for Education and Outreach at the VCU PMDC. She manages all of the educational programming for the center -- and is lost without her iPhone alerts.

View all posts by aperseghin

One Response to “5 Tips for Interacting with Police”

  1. Bill Moffettt Says:

    I really like Marcia’s thoughts on what to do when stopped by the police. I personally have had 3 DBS surgeries. My third one resulted in my having a stroke. Thankfully I work at a hospital and the stroke occured there. To make a long story short they got the tpA drug in me in about 75 minutes. The only thing it affected was my speech!!! About 4 monthes ago I was stopped by a police officer because I was weaving down the road (in my lane). As it turned out I was on my way to my neurologist and programers office for a “tune up”. I had all of my Parkinson’s information with me. His father had Parkinson’s so he was very familiar with the signs and symptoms. He even gave me a police escort to my doctor’s office!!!! It does pay to be prepared and to carry documentation on you at all times.