Agencies, Volunteers and State AG Observe Pulaski County Triad Reunification

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Danielle Reid/The Patriot

Along with local Pulaski law enforcement, seniors and seniors advocacy organizations, Jason S. Miyares, Virginia Attorney General, emphasized the importance of protecting our most vulnerable population, old people. The signing of the Pulaski County Reunification TRIAD Cooperation Agreement took place on Thursday, August 11 at Pulaski Station. More than 75 people were on hand to support the initiative to protect older people from people who would profit from fraud, subscription scams, requests for charitable donations, teleshopping tricks and freebies. “TRIAD recognizes there is a problem and brings together the best of law enforcement, seniors, volunteers and agencies to inform, educate and protect our most vulnerable population. It is especially disgusting when we see predators taking advantage of our elderly,” Miyares said.

By Danielle Reid

The Patriot

According to current statistics, older Americans are the fastest growing segment of the population and by 2025, twenty-five percent of Virginia’s population will be 60 or older. Because criminals are finding ways to prey on the elderly, organizations have been created to help educate, inform and protect this growing segment of our population.

One such organization, TRIAD, was started in Louisiana in 1988 when caring individuals from three national organizations joined forces to help protect the elderly. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the National Association of Sheriffs (NSA) have developed a TRIAD cooperation agreement. The term “triad” simply means a group or set of three connected people or things, such as the Trinity.

As other states became aware of the TRIAD, they formed their own organizations. TRIAD was introduced to Virginia in 1995 by Attorney General Jim Gilmore, who established a State TRIAD Coordinating Section in his office. Pulaski County originally created its TRIAD in 2016.

According to Lori Saul, Vice President of Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT), TRIAD is governed by a SALT Council (20 members). The SALT Council develops, expands and implements effective crime prevention and education programs for older adults. The Council also works to improve the overall quality of life for seniors in the community. She noted that the last agreement was signed in August 2016; and that the Supporting Organizations are very excited to be part of the signing of the Pulaski County TRIAD Agreement Reunification.

County agencies and volunteers hosted a Pulaski County Triad Reunification Cooperation Agreement signing on Thursday, August 11 at the historic Pulaski Train Station.

Virginia Attorney General Jason S. Miyares was in Pulaski to reaffirm the cooperative effort of law enforcement (police, firefighters, and sheriffs) along with interested seniors and many seniors’ organizations, to protect old people.

“Triad recognizes there is a problem and brings together the best of law enforcement, seniors, volunteers and agencies to inform, educate and protect our most vulnerable population,” Miyares said. “It’s especially disgusting when you see predators taking advantage of our seniors,” he added.

Miyares, whose family escaped communist Cuba, recalled how his mother was able to vote for her son when he ran for the Virginia House of Delegates in 2015. Additionally, he is the first Cuban- American elected Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia. .

Miyares continued, “The recent phenomenon that has happened over the last 50 years is the feeling that we no longer honor or trust our elderly. Every other culture in the world reveres its elders because they have a lot of knowledge. Seek the wisdom of those who have gone before you – seek that knowledge. Age gives you perspective.

He also noted that there is a lack of gratitude towards law enforcement at the national level, stating, “We are a good, decent and noble country where people put in hours of volunteering and donations to help the others. When we recognize a need, we roll up our sleeves and get to work.

At this point, Miyares recognized members of the Pulaski County Hearts Behind the Badge non-profit organization whose mission is community support and support of law enforcement and their families.

Sonia Ramsey, community resource specialist for the Pulaski Police Department, discussed the most prevalent crimes against seniors, including fraud and elder abuse.

“Keeping seniors safe is a high priority in Pulaski County,” Ramsey said.

“More than $3 billion in lost funds and 369,000 reported cases of fraud have occurred in Virginia. Only one in 44 incidents is reported. Predators get information from sources like obituaries, but nine out of 10 are no strangers to the victim. These include scams offering subscriptions, requests for charitable donations, TV buying tips and darling deals. Elder abuse can be physical, psychological or sexual in nature. One in 10 older people are abused and nine out of 10 abuses are perpetrated by family or caregivers,” she explained.

Janet Brennend, Long-Term Care Ombudsman and Elder Abuse Prevention Specialist at the New River Valley Agency on Aging, delivered the closing remarks. She expressed her deep gratitude to Miyares and her staff, community leaders, special guests and seniors for their presence in reviving our TRIAD region.

Brennend summed up the prevailing sentiments of those attending the TRIAD reunification: “As we close today’s ceremony, we reaffirm our commitment to strengthening the relationship between our law enforcement agencies, our seniors and community organizations serving our seniors in our effort to make our communities safer for our senior population. We reaffirm our dedicated efforts to reduce and eliminate crimes against our seniors by improving community awareness, education, fostering collaborations within our communities and supporting crime prevention initiatives.

For those who want to get more involved in TRIAD, you can register for the TRIAD 2022 conference, which will be held October 4-6 at the Great Wolf Lodge. Reservations must be made by midnight September 3rd. Call 1-800-551-9653 and request group code TRIAD2022 Additional information about TRIAD is available at: https://www.oag.state.va.us/programs-initiatives/triad-seniors

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