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Abstract

The elderly population is growing dramatically throughout the world. Out of this growth comes an increase in the number of encounters between the aged and law enforcement. These encounters occur because of a variety of factors including mental illnesses and addictions. Furthermore, older adults may be victims as evidenced in different forms of abuse such as physical, emotional, or financial abuse. Sadly, some documentation exists that older adults are committing more crimes. Multiple reasons have been postulated for these crimes including poverty, jealousy, and boredom. All of these different situations with the aged have created an increase in the number of encounters between the elderly and law enforcement. Different programs exist that can be used to train law enforcement professionals to identify and help the elderly who are in need of assistance. Regardless of the program used, law enforcement can improve their ability to protect and serve this vulnerable and growing segment of the population. The elderly need the help of law enforcement and this need will continue to increase as the elderly population grows.

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