TACOMA, WA – Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist and Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Sven Nelson presented on the subject of elder abuse to seven different ethnic groups over the past five days. The presentations focused on how members of the community can identify and protect against elder abuse.
“Our aging family members and friends are among the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Prosecutor Lindquist. “Our office protects elders through vigorous prosecution and through education so people can better protect themselves, their families, and their friends."
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office partnered with the Safe Streets Campaign to give the presentations. Prosecutor Lindquist and DPA Nelson spoke to groups of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and Samoan seniors. In addition to the five presentations with Safe Streets, Prosecutor Lindquist presented to the Daffodil Kiwanis and the Fife Milton Edgewood Chamber of Commerce this week. Prosecutor Lindquist discussed elder abuse and other office initiatives, including the High Priority Offender Unit. The High Priority Offender Unit uses a data driven approach to focus resources on the small percentage of criminals who commit a large percentage of crimes.
Prosecutor Lindquist and DPA Nelson cautioned those in attendance that often it is family members and caregivers who are the ones who abuse elders. They urged community members to be alert and ask questions if they see signs of potential abuse. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office provided flyers noting red flags of elder abuse, and providing contact information for DPA Nelson and Adult Protective Services.
The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office was awarded a grant of $370,985 from the Department of Justice earlier this year to create a coordinated community response team comprised of experts from different disciplines. The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has emphasized the prosecution of elder abuse since 2011.
The Prosecuting Attorney encourages anyone who suspects elder abuse to report it. Reports can be made by calling 911, by contacting Adult Protective Services at 1-866-END-HARM (363-4276) or by anonymously reporting to Crime Stoppers.
John Nourse, Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office