Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies can locate, investigate, arrest, and charge perpetrators who violate elder abuse or elder financial exploitation laws.
Investigations are often handled by detectives or referred to a county or state prosecutor for further investigation and possible indictment. Arresting officers also may collaborate with prosecutors to testify against the perpetrators.
Agencies handle cases by area, location, or case type, and some agencies provide specially trained personnel for elder abuse cases.
How they can contribute to working groups
Community outreach and education
Law enforcement can educate community members on:
Law enforcement can influence public policy by holding board member or advisory positions in community organizations.
Law enforcement can face multiple challenges to contributing to the network, such as:
- The classification of elder fraud as a civil rather than criminal matter
- The reluctance of victims to cooperate with investigators or report exploiters who they know or may depend on
- A lack of support from agency leadership for pursuing investigations for prosecution
- A low percentage of full-time officers available and few resources at small agencies
Types of contacts to include in your network
- Patrol officers (if higher-ranking office is not available)
- Elder Service Officers (if available)
- Financial crime investigators/detectives
- Crime prevention officers
- Senior services departments
- State or local victim assistance offices
- Elected sheriffs or police chiefs
- United States Postal Inspectors