Senior Safety Concerns

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

Every day, members of our senior population fall victim to criminal acts, and many of them don't know where to turn. One program is making changes for the better.

Sherice Simmons was raised by her grandparents and often keeps in touch, but as part of her job with the Area Agency on Aging for north Florida, she receives calls from seniors every day, many of them distraught.

Sherice says, "I constantly hear callers crying and sad because they don't know what's out there. There's not enough people out there who want to assist them and help them."

The calls are from seniors who've been victims of phone scams, identity theft, in some cases abuse.

Ralph Hook of the Area Agency on Aging says, "Those things happen frequently. I'm sure the sheriff and police will tell you that those things happen regularly, and if it happens in your neighborhood, you feel worse off because you might be next."

SGT Rex Davie with the Leon County's Sheriff Office adds, "It's not because we're dumb, it's because the way we were raised. We trust people and we help people, that's the way we use to do. Today that can get you in a bit of a problem."

Tuesday, Leon County Sheriff Larry Campbell and Tallahassee Police Chief Walt McNeil renewed their dedication to the Leon County "triad,” a three way committee between a sheriff, police chief and local groups that support seniors.

The hope is for this renewed committee to help reduce criminal acts against older citizens.

SGT Davie says seniors are targeted because of the money many of they have put away and that most of the scams are investment scams.


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