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Westchester Legislators Approve Agreement To Fight Elder Abuse

County Executive Rob Astorino and the Westchester County Board of Legislators have teamed together to fight abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly.
County Executive Rob Astorino and the Westchester County Board of Legislators have teamed together to fight abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly. Photo Credit: File

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- The Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) and County Executive Rob Astorino have teamed up to deliver funding that would provide enhanced training to municipal law enforcement agencies to help them address elder abuse, neglect and exploitation including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, involving victims who are 50 years of age or older.

On Monday, the BOL unanimously approved an inter municipal agreement (IMA) between the county and the Town of Greenburgh that would finance the Greenburgh Police Department’s participation in an interdisciplinary partnership to train other law enforcement agencies to better identify and intervene in cases of elder-abuse.

The funding, which totals, $15,880, is derived from a grant the county successfully applied for from the United States Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women. The IMA extends through September 2017.

Seniors and Constituencies Committee Chair Legislator Bernice Spreckman (R) Yonkers has been a very vocal advocate for Seniors throughout her years of public service.

“I hear very disturbing stories about abuse among our seniors. Many are afraid to speak out because they think it will only make the abuse worse. While our police agencies do an excellent job of keeping seniors safe, I think this enhanced training will give them more tools to identify when elder-abuse is happening, especially when the victims are afraid to speak up," said Spreckman.

County Executive Rob Astorino is expected to sign the IMA this week.

Legislator Sheila Marcotte who is a member of the Seniors and Constituencies Committee and Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee praised the funding as an important investment.

“Our seniors deserve all we can do for them when it comes to their safety and health. This initiative will better equip our first line responders in protecting our older friends, family and neighbors," said Legislator David Gelfarb (R) Rye Brook, chair of the Public Safety Committee.

Other groups involved in the interdisciplinary partnership are, The Pace Women’s Justice Center, the Westchester District Attorney’s Office, Victim’s Assistance Services and The Weinberg Center for Elder Abuse Prevention at The Hebrew Home.

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