Older Adult Liaison to Be Placed in Every City Police Precinct


MAYOR ERIC ADAMS, ABOVE, ANNOUNCED HIS LATEST INITIATIVE TO PROTECT older New Yorkers. Photo courtesy of NYC Department of the Aging and @EricAdams on Twitter.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Department for the Aging Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, and New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell marked World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by announcing that an older adult liaison has been designated to every police precinct in the city, as well as every police service area covering New York City Housing Authority developments in the five boroughs. The liaisons will be tasked with connecting victims with support services, educating the public on older adult programs available to them and informing older New Yorkers on steps they can take to keep themselves safe.

“Sadly, one in 10 adults over age 60 suffers from abuse or neglect or is financially exploited and, too often, these crimes can often go unreported. But we’re working to end that,” said Adams. “We are announcing our latest initiative to protect older New Yorkers by designating an older adult liaison in every police precinct and service area citywide. These new liaisons will connect victims to support services and work closely with the elder community to identify and address their needs. Older New Yorkers should know that you are not alone and you do not have to suffer in silence. Your city is here for you and we will keep you safe.”

“This is yet another step toward making New York City the most age-inclusive city possible,” said Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “With more than 1.6 million older adults across the city, this new partnership will connect law enforcement with older adult communities to ensure they have the knowledge, support and connections they need to stay safe and continue thriving.”

“Over 6,000 police officers have gone through trainings to make sure they can identify elder abuse when they see it,” said Cortés-Vázquez. “These police liaisons will put a face to the resources and programs available to help keep residents safe. At the same time, we will be using data to identify what crimes against older New Yorkers are occurring and adjust our policies to act accordingly so these residents can continue living independently and safely.”
The idea of new older adult liaisons stemmed from discussions that took place within the “Cabinet for Older New Yorkers,” which Adams created last year. The NYPD and over 20 other city agencies are members of the Cabinet and the interagency collaborative aims to realize and institutionalize an age-inclusive New York through structural and systematic solutions.

Since last August, a similar pilot program has been taking place in NYPD Patrol Borough Manhattan North and in the 5th Police Precinct located in Chinatown, where there have been about 300 referrals a month to NYC Aging’s Elder Justice Program. While the program has received over 2,000 referrals throughout the city over the last year, studies still show cases of elder abuse are consistently underreported nationwide.