CRIMES AGAINST THE ELDERLY
As Governor, Darrin will advocate for
additional min-mandatory sentences against those who prey on the elderly, while
at the same time making sure that elderly victims who have been scammed of their
life savings have an expedited resolution in criminal court cases. If the
offender has the ability to pay restitution immediately, the Courts should allow
plea deals that protect the public and help the victim.
An elderly victim needs restitution
Sadly, Abuse of the elderly – including
domestic violence and financial exploitation – is growing rapidly in an aging
America. Here in Florida the issue is front and center, with Florida having the
largest senior population in America. A McGillis administration will set up a
State wide task force to take down those who have, and are currently abusing our
It is well documented that as we age, our
chances of being victims of crime decrease dramatically. But a lifetime of
experience coupled with the physical problems associated with aging, often make
older Americans fearful. Although older people are constantly on the lookout for
physical attack and burglary, they're not as alert to frauds and con games which
are the greatest crime threat to seniors' well-being and trust.
BE ALERT WHEN YOU ARE OUT AND
There is safety in numbers. Go out with
friends or family, not alone.
Always, carry your purse close to your
body, do not allow it to dangle by the straps. Place your wallet in an
inside coat or front pants pocket.
Don't carry credit cards you don't need or
large amounts of cash.
Use direct deposit for Social Security and
other regular checks.
Whether you're a passenger or driver, keep
your car doors locked. Be particularly alert in parking lots and garages. If
possible, park in a well lighted area near an entrance.
Sit close to the driver or near the exit
while riding the bus, train, or any public transportation.
If someone or something makes you uneasy,
trust your instincts and leave.
MAKE YOUR HOME SAFE AND SECURE
Install good locks on doors and windows.
Use them! Don't hide keys in mailboxes and planters or under doormats.
Instead, leave an extra set of keys with a neighbor or friend.
Ask for photo identification from service
or delivery people before letting them in. If you are the least bit worried,
call the company to verify.
Be sure your street address number is
large, clear of obstruction, and well-lighted so police and other emergency
personnel can find your home quickly.
Consider a home alarm system that provides
emergency monitoring for burglary, fire, and medical emergencies.
WATCH OUT FOR CON ARTISTS
Don't fall for anything that sounds too
good to be true -- a free vacation, sweepstakes prizes, cures for cancer and
arthritis, a low-risk, high-yield investment scheme.
Never give your credit card, phone card,
Social Security, or bank account number to anyone over the phone. It's
illegal for telemarketers to ask for these numbers to verify a prize or
Don't let anyone rush you into signing
anything -- an insurance policy, a sales agreement, a contract. Read it
carefully and have someone you trust check it over.
Beware of individuals claiming to
represent companies, consumer organizations, or government agencies that
offer to recover lost money from fraudulent telemarketers for a fee.
If you're suspicious, check it out with
the police, the Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce or your local
consumer protection office. Call the National Consumers League Fraud
Information Center at 800-876-7060.
GET INVOLVED IN THE COMMUNITY
Report any crime or suspicious activities
to law enforcement.
Join a Neighborhood Watch to look out for
each other and help the police.
Work to change conditions that hurt your
neighborhood. Volunteer as a citizen patroller, tutor for children, office
aide in the police or fire department, mentor for teens, escort for
individuals with disabilities.
Does your community have a Triad program?
It's sponsored on a national level by the American Association of Retired
Persons, (AARP) the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the
National Sheriffs' Association (NSA). Triad promotes partnerships between
senior citizens and the law enforcement community, both to prevent crime
against the elderly and to help law enforcement benefit from the talents of
older people. If you're interested, contact your local chief of police,
sheriff, AARP chapter or call Triad at NSA,
Many police agencies within the State of
Florida have additional tips and programs on their web pages