As baby boomers (those born roughly between 1946 and 1964) age and more of their grown children live with them in multigenerational homes, the risk of physical and financial crimes against older adults increases. Federal, state, and local law enforcement officers should therefore be prepared to identify and respond to these crimes.
The COPS Office coordinated closely with EJI on the development of a series of podcasts by six law enforcement professionals to share their insights on recognizing different kinds of fraud and abuse, how and when to collect evidence, and which partners can help in protecting older community members and successfully prosecute those that would do them harm.
Collecting Evidence in Elder Abuse and Neglect Cases
Officer Adam Gibson of the Quincy (Illinois) Police Department and Lt. Brett Parson of the Washington (D.C.) Metropolitan Police Department discuss the importance of, challenges to, and tips on collecting evidence for abuse and neglect cases.
The Role of Law Enforcement in Recognizing and Responding to Elder Abuse
Andrea Higgens Paugh, Elder Abuse Inspector at the San Mateo County (California) District Attorney’s Office, and Gary MacNamara, retired Chief of Police of the Fairfield (Connecticut) Police Department, talk about how to identify the different types of elder abuse and where they can be found.
Financial Exploitations & Scams Are a Crime: Correcting Misperceptions and Collecting Evidence
Detective Skip Swain of the Fresno County (California) Sheriff’s Office and Detective Charles Szatkowski of the Colorado Springs (Colorado) Police Department share their experience on gathering evidence that leads to successful prosecutions of financial exploitations.
The U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Elder Justice Initiative (EJI) has funded the development of an unprecedented array of tools, training, and resources to inform and improve the criminal justice ability to protect older adults at risk. The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) is collaborating with EJI to inform our constituents about the interactive investigative tools, officer checklists, sample protocols, state statutes, webinars, podcasts, resource maps, and training videos available on the EJI law enforcement web page. All of these resources that are fully sponsored and available at no charge:
Online Tools, Online Training, and Resources
COPS Office Publications
- Financial Crimes Against the Elderly Problem-Oriented Guide for Police (2004)
Financial crimes against older adults fall under two general categories: (1) fraud committed by strangers and (2) financial exploitation by relatives and caregivers. This guide addresses the problem of financial crimes against older adults and helps law enforcement analyze their local problem. It reviews responses to the problem and describes the conditions in which they are most effective.
- Physical and Emotional Abuse of the Elderly Problem-Oriented Guide for Police (2010)
This publication describes the problem of physical and psychological abuse of older adults, reviews factors that increase its risks, identifies a series of questions to help you analyze your local elder abuse problem, and reviews responses to the problem and what is known about these from evaluative research and police practice