“We want a larger number of law enforcement officers, social workers and concerned individuals who have heightened understanding about elder abuse, its signs, what to do when it’s spotted, because that’s really going to be the key.”
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt recently announced a new initiative that aims to train law enforcement and community members to identify the signs of elder financial abuse.
WIBW reported in its article, “Kansas training law enforcement, community members to spot elder abuse, AG says,” that the announcement came on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, which is observed on June 15 every year.
Schmidt’s Senior Consumer Protection Advisory Council has worked over the past several months to create a training program that can be used to train law enforcement officers, as well as community members, on how to identify potential cases of financial abuse, especially those targeting senior citizens.
“We’re part of a generational discussion now in Kansas and around the country as the Baby Boomers retire,” said Schmidt. “If we’re going to be where we need to be, as those numbers of senior citizens continue to grow, it’s going to take more than episodic events. It’s going to require us to build widespread understanding among people who deal with seniors and who deal with the criminal justice system.”
The training programs in Kansas include victim interaction; investigating physical, sexual, and financial crimes; legal issues; consent, cognition and capacity; and general information and resources. Some of the topics are directed primarily to law enforcement personnel, while others have useful information for general audiences.
The AG noted that there are more people over 65 and more people over 80 than ever before in the history of both the U.S. and Kansas. He said those numbers are going to increase steadily for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, as a group, these seniors will have more wealth than ever before in any demographic group in the history of the world.
Two of the training programs for law enforcement have already been presented in recent months in Topeka and Shawnee. About 54 law enforcement officers have received training so far.
Partnership with the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center will allow the training to be available online for law enforcement officers across the state.
Reference: WIBW (June 15, 2018) “Kansas training law enforcement, community members to spot elder abuse, AG says”