Officers to be offered diabetic recognition training

Goal to distinguish difference between diabetic seizure, intoxication


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The death of a Tampa man in police custody in April 2014 is the genesis of a new law that took effect Thursday. From now on, police will be trained to know the difference between intoxication and a diabetic

Arthur Green was 63 when he died. His family has a lawsuit pending against the Tampa Police Department.

Green was stopped for driving erratically. Police thought he was intoxicated, but he wasn't. He was having a diabetic seizure.

Green died in 2014 after being transported to a hospital. Since his death, his family made it a crusade to get police better training to know the signs of a diabetic seizure.

"Had they recognized he was having an episode, they would have -- should have -- called paramedics. They didn't," said Green's wife, Lena Young.

The family went to the Capitol en mass earlier this year as lawmakers ordered the training be offered.

"He lives through us and we just want to make sure that what has happened hasn't gone in vain," said Arthur Green III, the victim's son.

The diabetic recognition training went online Wednesday.

Police officers must undergo 40 hours of training every four years. And while the diabetic recognition course isn't mandatory, it will count against those hours.

Dwight Floyd is the director of training for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

"What it does is help the officer distinguish between the symptoms of an intoxicated person or a person who is going through drug overdose and as person who's actually diabetic," said Dwight Floyd, the training director with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Kareem Young, the victim's son, said the passage of the Legislation is a step in the right direction for everyone.

"We've been doing a lot of work, internal analysis, as a family to heal ourselves, and this is joust one stage we believe we should move towards," Kareem Young said.

An estimated 29 million Americans are diabetic.