Police in the state of Georgia are now being trained in special investigative techniques for elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation cases. In reaction to a 65% increase in elder abuses cases between 2008 and 2012, the Georgia Association of Police Chiefs developed elder-abuse specific training materials for their officers. By the end of the summer police officers across the state will have watched a video on recognizing and investigating elder abuse.
As first responders, police are in a unique position to identify potential elder abuse crimes when they investigate other problems. A true example is when police arrested a disabled adult for breaking into a restaurant. He begged police not to be returned to his group home because he was hungry and had been beaten and burned with a curling iron. Police investigated the home and found other disabled men in deplorable conditions.
Georgia’s Morris New Service quoted a Georgia Association of Police Chief’s policy paper stating, “In addition to photographs and video, officers and investigators should consider collecting non-traditional forms of evidence, such as soiled linens, and documenting items that are absent, such as an empty refrigerator, in neglect cases. Other non-traditional forms of evidence include: insect infestations; piles of unwashed clothing; the absence of essential utilities such as heat and running water; external padlocks used to lock cabinets containing food or interior/exterior doors; and ‘slop buckets’ for collecting human waste.”
If you suspect that a loved one is a victim of elder abuse, Aidikoff Law can help you.
Jeff Aidikoff is an elder abuse attorney in Los Angeles, CA. For questions or a free consultation call 800-981-5932.