TRIAD program

“The term TRIAD references the three founding organizations that established the program in 1988,” stated a Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office press release.  Those three organizations are the American Association of Retired Persons, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the National Sheriffs’ Association.

In establishing the program, Fluvanna joined the 226 counties, cities, and towns already participating in TRIAD, said Marta Keane, CEO of Jefferson Area Board for Aging.  “This [program] will reduce the fear of crime and victimization [in seniors] through increasing the awareness of scams and frauds, by strengthening communication between law enforcement and senior communities, [and] by educating seniors on local and state resources available in the communities,” Keane said.

Older citizens are more vulnerable to some types of crimes and are more likely to become targets for several reasons, explained Hess.  They often have money and resources, he said.  Plus, criminals see them as trusting, easy targets because seniors are “more honorable,” Hess said.  “In the era my parents grew up in, everybody trusted everybody.  You left your house unlocked, you left your keys in the car.  We have a different society today.”

Also, Hess said, health issues can keep seniors from repairing their homes, which can make them particularly vulnerable to construction scams.  Availability is another factor, Hess said, because seniors are often home to answer the phone when scammers make cold calls.  Hess also noted that many seniors live in isolation without family nearby to review their investment decisions.

In his keynote address, Herring said that the knowledge offered through TRIAD “can free seniors from the fear of being taken advantage of, free from the fear of being a victim of crime, abuse, or fraud.”  TRIAD, therefore, can “restore a sense of safety to seniors.”

TRIAD provides “two-way communication,” said Herring after the ceremony, “from seniors about what [fraud] they’re hearing, as well as information we’re able to disseminate about how they can protect themselves from crime and being taken advantage of.”

Herring concluded his remarks by talking about what he calls the 24-hour rule.  If people receive solicitations, he said, they should wait 24 hours before acting.  During that time they should contact people they trust in an attempt to make sure they aren’t being scammed.  “If they’re truly legit one day is not going to matter to them,” Herring said, “but it will make a world of difference to you.”

The first TRIAD meeting is set for Aug. 27 at 11 a.m. at the Fluvanna County public library.

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