According to Colonie Police Chief Steven Heider, keeping seniors on the road is a priority for the police department, as a person's right to drive a motor vehicle becomes one of the most important things to some as they age.
"That's the last vestige of independence," he said.
Colonie police spent nearly three months training with Colonie Senior Service Centers and the driver's assistance network to ensure that the officers knew how to handle situations with senior drivers in a way that can possibly promote them staying on the roads longer.
Heider said that 107 officers attended the training sessions, which took place from September to November, learning from Neary and Fluman, about different diseases that affect people as they age and influence their ability to drive.
"One of the important components was that we reached out to the police department. They have a very important role in this, so this idea of us coming together with this training and education is what we wanted to focus on," Neary said.
Each officer received two days of training, according to Heider.
"When an officer's dealing with that Alzheimer's or a dementia patient, it helps to know that there is some place they can go to get help," Heider said.
In the past, the Colonie Police Department has completed similar training, Heider said, but this recent training should provide new insight to the officers.
"Hopefully all this leads to safer roads," he said. ""