More than twenty years ago, the unique concept known as Triad was born when AARP, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and the National Sheriff’s Association (NSA) signed an agreement to work collaboratively on addressing the crime prevention needs of older citizens.
See Also: How to avoid scams and fraud
Today, Triad includes numerous other organizations and sponsors throughout the country who are working together to educate older citizens about crime and improve the relationship between law enforcement and those they serve.
The Connecticut Triad was formed in 2004 and since then has been working to address the safety needs and concerns of older adults and reduce the fear of crime in communities throughout the state. Their mission is to promote senior safety by providing information and education to prevent crimes before they happen, reduce the fear of crime that older adults often experience and enhance communications between law enforcement and older citizens.
According to Michael Martone of Connecticut’s Office of the Attorney General, older adults tend to have a higher level of trust when dealing with telemarketers, salespeople, contractors, and other strangers. As a result, they often become an easier target for fraud, identity theft and certain scams. In fact, a recent study by the AARP Foundation found that certain behaviors of older people put them more at risk of becoming a victim of fraud and other crimes.
- Opening and reading all junk mail
- Attending free lunch seminars
- Entering drawings to win a free prize
- Inviting salespeople into the home
As a member of the CT Triad Advisory Board, the AARP Connecticut state office helps to design and conduct statewide training for local Triad members, sponsor educational programs and distribute resources and information on avoiding scams and fraud. Current members of the CT Triad Advisory Board also include: The Office of the Attorney General, The Department of Social Services Aging Services Division, People’s United Bank, The CHOICES Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Project and the Connecticut Area Agencies on Aging.
The Triad concept has been successful in Connecticut because of the dedicated work of older volunteers who are willing to invest their time and energy to make their communities safer. Triad empowers older adults to become active partners in preventing crime in their own communities. Local Triads sponsor numerous community events and initiatives throughout the year designed specifically to address the safety needs of seniors in their communities.
Some of these initiatives include:
“Shred It”, which allows seniors to safely dispose of personal records to protect from identity theft.
Uniform fashion shows – to make sure seniors know what the official uniforms of local law enforcement, utility and other public safety officers look like and the type of identification they carry.
The Yellow Dot Program – created and sponsored by People’s United Bank, includes a yellow dot decal that seniors can place on their vehicle’s rear windshield to alert first responders that emergency medical information is in the glove compartment, should they be involved in a serious motor vehicle accident and are unable to communicate.
Currently, more than 50 communities in Connecticut have formed a local Triad and another 19 are interested or in the process of forming a Triad.
If you’d like to learn more about CT Triad or if you have questions about starting a Triad in your community, contact your regional Area Agency on Aging (1-800-994-9422) or the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General at 860-808-5400.