Five months after launching the state’s Elder Abuse Task Force, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Supreme Court Justice Megan Cavanagh, and top law enforcement rolled out the first-ever statewide incident report for vulnerable adult abuse.
"Each and every year there are more than 73,000 Michiganders are victims of elder abuse," Nessel said.
And that's 73,000 too many according to Nessel and she's fighting back.
The report will be rolled out to every law enforcement agency across the state.
“For too long, law enforcement agencies have gone without the proper tools to identify, prosecute and rein in elder abuse crimes in our state,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said.
It's expected there will be more than 2 million seniors in Michigan by 2030, but the state has never had a standardized investigation report for law enforcement to properly document cases of elder abuse.
“This new incident reporting form sends a message that when it comes to stopping elder abuse, we are on the same page,” said Michigan Supreme Court Justice Megan K. Cavanagh.
The new reporting tool helps police identify important steps to take if there is suspected abuse to a senior or vulnerable adult be it physical, emotional or financial.
Isabella County Prosecutor David Barberi said right now it's about prevention.
"Unfortunately, when that money is spent all that money is taken from them, it’s very near impossible to recover funds. Often leaving the senior with financial hardship. As most of them are on fixed income."
The form also presents officers with possible actions, including the notification of Adult Protective Services, calling an ambulance, and collecting any evidence of financial exploitation.
Midland County Prosecutor J. Dee Brooks said this new tool will help law enforcement work together.
"I truly believe that we can make a difference in very complex difficult cases," Brooks said.
"What are the most important jobs that we have as law enforcement officials is to keep our residents safe," Nessel said.
Michigan residents can report any signs or concerns about elder abuse to the Attorney General’s office, through its anonymous elder abuse hotline at 800-24-ABUSE (800-242-2873) or online at www.mi.gov/elderabuse.