KPD Investigators to Take Part in Extensive, Grant Funded Elder Abuse Training

Communications Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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KPD Investigators to Take Part in Extensive, Grant Funded Elder Abuse Training

Posted: 08/05/2019
KPD LogoLater this week, as part of a commitment to continued education, a number of Knoxville Police Department investigators will take part in a one-day training seminar diving into the topic of elder financial exploitation, abuse and neglect. Two individual sessions will be held August 7-8 with both KPD and Knox County Sheriff’s Office officers in attendance.  

The extensive training program will be led by retired elder abuse prosecutor Candace Heisler and forensic accountant Karen Webber. Heisler has authored numerous books and articles on topics ranging from domestic violence to elder abuse, and regularly provides training for emergency dispatchers and law enforcement personnel. Webber played a key role in obtaining a grant from the United States Administration for Community Living, which was used to initiate and test a program to combat financial exploitation and elder abuse in New York State. 

The full-day session will cover an overview of the many forms elder abuse, neglect and exploitation take. Officers will gain a greater understanding of the devastating effects it can have on a group that makes up 16 percent of the population in Tennessee, dealing with endangered victims, providing support in the aftermath of abuse, and the ways in which officers can investigate and pursue legal action against perpetrators of suspected elder abuse, among other topics.

“The KPD has a responsibility to protect and serve the community, and it is especially important for us to stand for those that are most vulnerable,” KPD Chief of Police Eve Thomas said. “This training program will help our investigators hone the skills they need to speak for those that oftentimes cannot speak for themselves.” 

Elder abuse is among the most underreported crimes that occur nationally. For every reported case of elder abuse of any kind, 24 go unreported. The gap is even wider in financial abuse, where one in every 44 cases is reported, according to an article published in Lifespan of Greater Rochester in 2011.

This training program is the result of a grant awarded to the city of Knoxville supported by Award Number 2015-EW-AX-K009 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, United States Department of Justice. 

With their extensive knowledge on the subject and commitment to ending elder abuse, the Knoxville/Knox County Community Action Committee was contracted out to oversee the use of the grant to identify and fill in the gaps in the criminal justice system.