In an effort to create a more informed elderly community, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office held a public safety forum for East Valley residents April 9. A series of talks and a keynote by Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery at the Crescent Crown Distribution Center, 1640 W. Broadway Road in Mesa, centered on ways for seniors to avoid becoming victims of crimes targeted at older people.
“It’s part of our overall community outreach effort to protect and strengthen the community,” said Jerry Cobb, MCAO public information officer. “To give residents information that they can use to prevent becoming a victim of a crime.”
Major crimes he said he wants the community to become more aware of include identity theft and scams that prey on seniors. He said he also hoped that attendees would learn to take advantage of the Silver Alert. The Silver Alert is a 2014 program that helps locate missing senior citizens who have dementia, Alzheimer’s or other cognitive disabilities. An alert is placed on Arizona Department of Transportation marquees on highways.
There were sessions on personal safety for seniors, especially during summer months, as well as how to avoid counterfeit-prescription scams.
“The world seems to take advantage of seniors and think they’re not too bright. Sorry folks, you’re wrong,” said Arlys Medlicott of Mesa. She said she was interested in learning about the ways that fraud and identity theft can occur over the Internet.
Mr. Montgomery opened the workshop with a 30-minute speech about what his office has to offer the public. He congratulated attendees for expressing interest in the criminal justice process.
Editor’s note: Karen Loschiavo is a journalism student at the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and wrote the article as a class assignment.
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