New investigator position to focus on elder abuse
Sheriff John D’Agostini recently announced the addition of a new investigator position that will be added to the sheriff’s detective bureau. This new position will solely be used to investigate elder abuse and financial crimes.
There is a large population of elderly citizens residing within El Dorado County. The county’s elderly population is 31.62 percent higher than the states average, for citizens over the age of 65.
Recent national statistics show more than a half million reports of abuse against the elderly are reported every year, while millions more go unreported. Much of this abuse occurs in their own homes, homes of relatives and even facilities responsible for their care. This abuse is physical and financial. Some of the abuse is categorized as sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect or abandonment by caregivers and, at times, health care fraud.
Physical and financial abuse seems to be the most common. Physical abuse includes not only physical assaults such as hitting or shoving, but inappropriate use of drugs, restraints or confinement. Financial exploitation involves the unauthorized use of an elderly person’s funds or property, either by a caregiver or an outside scam artist. The Sheriff’s Department has seen many scams in El Dorado County involving the announcement of a prize that the elderly person has won, but must pay money to claim that prize.
In El Dorado County reported crimes of elder abuse has increased 9 percent since 2011.
The newly appointed elder abuse investigator will work closely with the District Attorney’s Office, as well as the county’s Adult Protective Services. Together, they will be a voice for our county’s aging population and to seek justice. They will pursue individuals who attempt to take advantage of our elderly citizens.
The Sheriff’s Office was able to add this new position to the Investigations Unit with no increase to the net county cost of the Sheriff’s Office budget, instead achieving this worthwhile addition through prudent fiscal management and cost-cutting measures.
If you suspect a family member is a victim of elder abuse, or have suspicions that someone you know may be a victim, don’t hesitate to call the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office at (530) 621-6600. You can also report any suspected elder abuse directly to the county’s Adult Protective Services at (530) 642-4800.