Law Enforcement Personnel
What role do law enforcement personnel play in elder abuse prevention?
Police, sheriffs, prosecutors, and courts hold perpetrators accountable for their actions, sending out a clear message that society does not tolerate the victimization of its most vulnerable members. Specifically, law enforcement personnel:
- Arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate perpetrators
- Ensure victims' safety by enforcing restraining orders, performing well-being checks of vulnerable person, etc.
- Provide leverage and assistance to other professionals in fulfilling their mandates to investigate and intervene
- Supervise the conduct of perpetrators
- Ensure that perpetrators receive needed services
How can law enforcement personnel get involved in elder abuse prevention?
- Participate on multidisciplinary teams or other community forums that address the issue
- Encourage law enforcement training programs to cover elder abuse and the special needs of elderly or disabled persons in their curricula
- Learn more about the special needs of the elderly
- Advocate for policies and programs that facilitate prosecution and make the criminal justice system more accessible to elderly victims. Examples include specialized police units, vertical prosecution of abuse cases, and the use of videotaped testimony for victims who are unable to come to court.
Resources For Law Enforcement
Forgotten victims of elder financial crime and abuse: A report and recommendations (1999, 62 pp). Goldman Institute on Aging. This report summarized four roundtable discussions sponsored by the National Center on Elder Abuse. Each session focused on one of four components of the legal system: the state and criminal justice system, federal investigative and regulatory agencies, the civil legal system, and the victim witness assistance network. Representatives from these systems described the challenges they face in handling abuse cases and made recommendations for improving each system's response. The publication is available online on the website of the National Center on Elder Abuse.
National Institute of Justice et al. (1993). Triad: Reducing crime against the elderly: An implementation handbook. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Justice, National Institute of Justice.
Nerenberg, Lisa. (1993). Improving the police response to domestic elder abuse: Instructor training manual and participant training manual. Washington, D.C.: Police Executive Research Forum.
Prosecutors Brief. Vol.XXI, No.2. The California District Attorney's Association's (CDAA) devoted an entire issue of this quarterly journal to elder abuse. Although all of the authors are from California, much of the content is relevant to other communities. Articles include Elder Abuse--A Statewide Perspective by Paul Greenwood; A Multi-disciplinary Approach to Elder Abuse Prosecution by Audry L. Rohn; Medical Records as Investigative Tools in Elder Abuse Cases by Diana Boutin; Interviewing Cognitively Impaired Victims by Dennis J. Morris; The Absent Witness in Elder Abuse Cases by Mark Zahner; and Elder and Dependent Adult Fraud--A Crime or a Civil Matter by Judith B. Sklar. The publication can be found online at (by clicking here, you will leave the NCPEA web site): http://www.cdaa.org/pubs/pubonline.htm
The National Organization of Triads, Inc. (NATI)
The National Association of Triads, Inc. (NATI) provides advice, support, technical assistance, and training to local Triads. Created in 1988 as a partnership between the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Sheriffs' Association (NSA), Triad is a network of local programs that promote collaboration between senior volunteers and law enforcement. At present, approximately 730 counties have Triads. Local Triads are overseen by Salt (Senior and Law Enforcement Together) councils, which plan activities and programs to address local needs.
NATI hosts training events and a national conference, manages a speaker's bureau, and produces a quarterly newsletter. It distributes guidebooks, information packets, and an informational video on how to get started. For more information, contact:
1450 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
American Prosecutors Research Institute
The American Prosecutors Research Institute was established in 1984 by the Board of Directors of the National District Attorneys Association to provide practical and direct services to prosecutors and allied professionals. The staff of APRI includes experienced prosecutors who can provide information concerning the prosecution of cases involving elderly victims and refer callers to local prosecutors with expertise in elder abuse.
Crimes Against the Family Division
99 Canal Center Plaza, Suite 510
Alexander, VA 22314
Telephone: (703) 549-4253
Fax: (703) 836-3195
National Association of Bunco Investigators (NABI)
The National Association of Bunco Investigators, Inc. is a non-profit organization of law enforcement and associated professionals dedicated to the investigation and apprehension of con artists and transient criminals. Members have developed extensive knowledge in the investigation of Bunco crimes, which include pigeon drops, bank examiner schemes, sweetheart scams, etc. NABI facilitates the continuous exchange of information by publishing a bulletin, which provides up to date information on criminals. It also provides a forum for the dissemination of information on suspects wanted by law enforcement agencies around the country. To date, the information disseminated through NABI has helped in the identification of over 2,000 criminal suspects. For more information, contact:
P.O. Box 287
Maryland Line, MD 21105