The Sangamon County Sheriff's Office is reminding residents of the TRIAD program, aimed at reducing the victimization of elderly citizens and enhancing the delivery of services to them. The program is a partnership between senior citizens, law enforcement agencies, and support/protective services who agree to work together to reduce crime victimization and unwarranted fear of crime affecting older persons.
Older Americans comprise the most rapidly growing segment of the population. One in every eight Americans is already age 65 or older, a total of more than 33.6 million. As life expectancy increases, new issues and problems for the criminal justice system arise, as most communities experience a dramatic increase in the number of older persons. Calls for services, crimes, and victims are all changing, and TRIAD aims to address these changes.
The program is tailored to meet the needs of each community and can be an integral part of community policing. TRIAD assesses the needs of its community and plans activities and programs to involve and benefit both law enforcement and seniors. These can include programs such as how to avoid criminal victimization, increased involvement in Neighborhood Watch, home security information and inspections, timely information of current frauds and scams, and how to cope with telephone solicitations and door-to-door sales.
“We know exploitation of our senior citizens continues to be a major concern for the Sheriff's office, as well as all law enforcement agencies,” said Sangamon County Sheriff Jack Campbell. “The Alliance is designed to bring these investigative agencies together to protect our vulnerable senior citizens, and now the perpetrators are able to take advantage of them.”
Other programs can focus on elder abuse prevention, recognition and reporting, training for law enforcement in communicating with and assisting older persons, adopt-a-senior visits for shut-ins, intergenerational projects beneficial to seniors and youth, emergency preparedness plans by and for seniors, victim assistance by and for seniors, safe shopping days, file for life (emergency medical information cards), mature volunteers within law enforcement agencies, and speakers bureau available to the community.
To report abuse against an elderly person, call the Department on Aging 24 Hour Adult Protective Service Hotline at 1-866-800-1409. To report abuse to people who reside in a nursing home/rehabilitation facility, call the Illinois Department of Public Health Nursing Home Hotline at 1-800-252-4343. Contact your local police agency, such as the Sangamon County Sheriff’s office at (217) 753-6666.