New Medical Alert Strategy Could Protect Officers, Citizens

Wednesday, January 14th 2009, 11:05 pm
By: News 9

By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

EL RENO, Oklahoma -- El Reno police have a new strategy to obtain life-saving information.

El Reno police tasered a man suffering from diabetic shock last November, after they suspected him of driving drunk.

The El Reno Police Department came under heavy criticism following the incident, but now plan to avoid a repeat of the November tasering.

Willard Holstead saves lives by distributing vital prescriptions and medical stickers at the Medicine Chest pharmacy in El Reno.

"It could save a life by being able to react quickly to a situation," Holstead said.

Chief Ken Brown said he knew his officers were trying to do the right thing when they tasered the man, but they had no way of knowing the man was actually in diabetic shock. The man's medical identification necklack was hidden under layers of clothing.

The new shiny car stickers are being offered free to the citizens of El Reno, to serve as an early alert to any medical issues someone may have.

"It's not only for safety of officers approaching, but citizens as well," Brown said.

The sticker should go on the back window on the driver's side. Those who live in El Reno can pick one up at the pharmacies in town.

The stickers are funded through the fire and police budget, and the idea is quickly becoming popular.

Other city and county emergency responders are looking into starting similar programs with display stickers.