This concludes my sharing of workshop notes.
What's being done?
In Orange County, they have a system called TRIAD. The following is from their brochure.
History of TRIAD
In 1988, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Sheriffs Association (NSA), signed a cooperative agreement to work together to reduce both criminal victimization and unwarranted fear of crime affecting older citizens. The three organizations agreed that sheriffs, police chiefs, prominent and involved senior citizens, and TRIAD, working together, could devise improved methods for reducing crimes against the elderly and enhance the delivery of law enforcement and social services to elders. This, they agreed, is true community policing for the aging population – a group that appreciates, respects and supports law enforcement.
Why is TRIAD needed? Older Americans comprise the most rapidly growing segment of the population. One in every eight citizens is already age 65 or older, and 25% of them live alone! These are our most vulnerable citizens! It is expected that by the year 2025, one out of four Orange County residents will have reached the age of 60. Increased life expectancy is leading to new issues and problems for the criminal justice system as most communities experience a dramatic increase in the number of older persons. Since Florida continues to be one of the three leading retirement destinations in the country, local numbers will far surpass those of most other states. The anticipated increase in crimes committed against seniors and the need to provide social services to victims, demands that Orange County take steps now, to create a network addressing those issues before the number of elders reaches its peak.
One Florida county has created a 'senior friendly' courtroom. They're told what to expect in the hopes that if they're not intimidated, they'll follow through with the process.
Some features: Ramps create easy access for anyone using walkers or wheelchairs. The walls are painted a calming green. Big screen tv's let them see what's going on.
A new program called "Senior Fit" is designed to make sure seniors are safer behind the wheel. They're checked out to make sure they're using their seatbelts and they're adjusted correctly. That they're not too close to the airbag. That their seats are high enough to see over the wheel, since many seniors drive larger cars thinking they're safer. The program doesn't sell any adaptive equipment, but it does let the seniors know where they can obtain it if they need it.
Another program that's not really targeted at seniors, but I found very interesting, is "Combat Auto Theft." Most car thefts take place between 1 and 5 AM. If you aren't normally on the road at that hour, you can sign up for a special decal, and if the cops see your car on the road, they've got your permission to pull it over for an investigative stop. If you do happen to be driving, you merely prove who you are, but it someone's taken your car, with this program, it's more likely to be recovered.
I hope some of my posts over the last week have been useful and informative.