NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Department for the Aging (NYC Aging) Commissioner Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, and New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell today marked World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by announcing that an older adult liaison has been designated to every police precinct in the city, as well as every police service area covering New York City Housing Authority developments in the five boroughs. The liaisons will be tasked with connecting victims with support services, educating the public on older adult programs, and informing older New Yorkers on steps to keep themselves safe.
“Sadly, one in 10 adults over age 60 suffers from abuse or neglect or is financially exploited, and, too often, these crimes can often go unreported. But we’re working to end that,” said Mayor Adams. “On World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, we are announcing our latest initiative to protect older New Yorkers: Designating an older adult liaison in every police precinct and service area citywide. These new liaisons will connect victims to support services and work closely with the elder community to identify and address their needs. Older New Yorkers should know that you are not alone, and you do not have to suffer in silence. Your city is here for you, and we will keep you safe. I want to thank NYC Aging Commissioner Cortés-Vázquez, NYPD Commissioner Sewell, and all our partners for their outstanding work in making this new position possible.”
“Establishing older adult liaisons at every police precinct across the five boroughs is yet another step toward making New York City the most age-inclusive city possible,” said Deputy Mayor of Health and Human Services Anne Williams-Isom. “With more than 1.6 million older adults across the city, this new partnership will connect law enforcement with older adult communities to ensure they have the knowledge, support, and connections they need to stay safe and continue thriving.”
“Over 6,000 police officers have gone through trainings to make sure they can identify elder abuse when they see it, and this announcement today is just another step that solidifies our shared commitment to supporting older New Yorkers,” said NYC Aging Commissioner Cortés-Vázquez. “These police liaisons will put a face to the resources and programs available to help keep residents safe. At the same time, we will be using data to identify what crimes against older New Yorkers are occurring and adjust our policies to act accordingly so these residents can continue living independently and safely.”
“Throughout the five boroughs, the women and men of the New York City Police Department are focused on ensuring that the promise we make to our older residents to maintain their safety and well-being is never broken by incidents of abuse, neglect, or exploitation,” said NYPD Commissioner Sewell. “And today, together with our government and community partners, we are reaffirming our commitment to preventing and ending elder abuse in all of its many forms.”
The idea of new older adult liaisons stemmed from discussions within the “Cabinet for Older New Yorkers,” which Mayor Adams created last year. The NYPD and over 20 other city agencies are members of the Cabinet, and the interagency collaborative aims to realize and institutionalize an age-inclusive New York through structural and systematic solutions.