Can Diabetics Join The Police And Law Enforcement?

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What's Inside

Are diabetic people allowed to join the police force or the army? If not, then is it discrimination or just a job requirement?  Law enforcement is a very tedious job. It is very risky for patients with diabetes to cope with the stresses of the job. 

Individuals With Diabetes

The physicians in the personal examination make sure that you systemically manage your diabetes. They record their personal history, past medical history, and experiences. Many officers in the department could not manage the stress of this post and quit, and there are many examples of people who managed the stress very well and are at the higher posts now.

Can Diabetics Join The Police And Law Enforcement?

Some officers use insulin, pump, or CGM to maintain their blood glucose levels. While they are at the field, they make up for the skipped meals with other activities, but they do not quit. People with this kind of mindset are exactly what law enforcement needs.

When Diabetes Patients Are Discriminated

When diabetes patients have rejected the career they want to choose, it is identified as discrimination. To take a step against this, the American Diabetes Association took a step with the help of the national consensus of medical evaluation of law enforcement officers. It made guidelines to follow while examining the diabetes patients who choose law enforcement as their career.

According to the guidelines, if a diabetic patient cannot go to law enforcement and the police force, it is discrimination. They provide a way to identify the diabetic person and make it safer to join the police force. The guidelines also include the rules and comments for the physician and the department dealing with a diabetic patient. Anyone willing to join the police force or in the police force that faces this discrimination can contact the ADA and meet their legal advocate by calling 1-800-.DIABETES.

How To Evaluate The Law Enforcement Officers Medically?

The law enforcement officers can be evaluated by calculating the risk of chronic complications that might occur due to the job, which may affect the officers’ systemic organs and overall health. Sometimes it also includes enquiring if the officer uses a pump or insulin or is under medication and other factors that may risk lowering the blood pressure. The complication of both hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia both are concerned. The evaluation also includes calculating the risk of having diabetic ketoacidosis or diabetic shock, or other fatal complications.

The Steps For A Physician To Follow Are:

  • They are supposed to enquire about the number of episodes of severe hypoglycemia in the patient per year and if they need the help of other people. 
  • They also have to check if the patient has any absence of symptoms. 
  • This condition is called hypoglycemic unawareness. If the patient has hypoglycemic unawareness and has episodes at least once a year, the patient is at high risk for three consecutive years. The patient may have an episode anytime.

Risk Of Hypoglycemia In Law Enforcement

Even without hypoglycemic unawareness and episodes in a year, a patient is still considered under high risk if he shows a history of low or high blood sugar. When the sugar in the patient’s body is less than 65mg/dl, it is considered severe hypoglycemia. Patients who use intensive insulin regimens or insulin pumps can be counted under patients under high risk. People with type 1 diabetes are considered at higher risk than people with type 2 diabetes. It is because of their intensive insulin pump or insulin regimen.

Type 2 patients also have criteria to be considered for high risk. Suppose the patient is under any of the three classes of oral medication. Out of all the medications for type 2 diabetes, Glyburide is the riskiest. When law enforcement officers are posted in their field duties and skip meals by any chance, this affects hypoglycemia. That is why the risk is generally avoided. To overcome this complication, hypoglycemic people carry quick carbohydrates with them all the time. So these are the risk hypoglycemic people face all the time if they join the police force or law enforcement.

Risk Of Hyperglycemia Patients In Law Enforcement

If the amount of sugar in the blood is more than 400mg/dl, it is considered hyperglycemia. Patients with hyperglycemia whole are posted on duty and taken care of because they are not assigned to any job that is not safe for their health. 

Patients with hyperglycemia are asked to test their blood sugar every 30 minutes. If there is an episode or evidence of high blood sugar, they are asked to wait for another 30 minutes and then take a test again. In the case of officers, everyone must take a test every 2 hours interval.

How To Reduce The Risk For The Officers?

There are several criteria in diabetes that are treated as the least risky and allowed in law enforcement. Some officers have diabetes, but they are not considered high risk for enrolling in law enforcement. These are the people who have type 2 diabetes. These people have to be diet controlled, their AC1 has to be less than 7, and they should be on biguanide medications. Some of these are metformin sulfurase. The officers should have their medicines on them all the time. They cannot leave their medicines behind in the patrol vehicle.


The officers have to take the test very frequently. It depends on the type of medication or pumps they are in. The diabetic officer who drives or stays behind the wheel has to have a threshold blood sugar value of 100mg/dl. The drivers are ad iced to consume carbohydrates frequently.

About Tim Mathew

Tim Mathew is an Endocrinologist specialized in general endocrinology, diabetes, and lipid metabolism. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in a science-related discipline and completed a medical school program in New York. Once Tim Mathew quoted that Endocrinology is both a challenging and rewarding medical specialty, so he wants to specialize in it. To know more about Tim Mathew kindly go through our about page.

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