October 6, 2016
Carson City, NV
- Today, Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that Nevada has received a $925,000 grant for enhanced training and services to combat abuse in later life. The competitive grant was awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women. The program aims to improve knowledge, capacity and ability to serve Nevada's elder victims of intimate partner and caregiver violence, sexual violence, exploitation, dating violence, stalking and neglect. The program will be implemented in partnership with the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division and the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada.
"As Nevada's chief law enforcement officer, I am committed to combatting the emotional and financial devastation of elder exploitation," said Laxalt. "With the receipt of this competitive grant award, we aim to raise awareness about and improve the statewide law enforcement response to the abuse and exploitation of Nevada's elders. We look forward to working closely with our grant partners to assist local jurisdictions in addressing victim safety and perpetrator accountability."
As a result of the grant, three teams of trainers will be formed including Clark County, Washoe County and rural Nevada communities, as well as a statewide team to assess and address issues of statewide concern. The statewide team will include members from prosecution, law enforcement, victim service providers, the Nevada Aging and Disability Services Division and the Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada. These teams will each participate in regional and multidisciplinary law enforcement training, and will then use the knowledge gained and their experiences to train local sworn officers, judges, prosecutors and victim service providers throughout Nevada. The teams will also engage and work closely with the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence, the statewide domestic violence and sexual violence coalition.
In March 2016, AG Laxalt, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Sheriff Joseph Lombardo and Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson announced a joint investigative and prosecution guardianship task force to help combat guardianship and elder exploitation in Nevada. AG Laxalt also dedicated a full-time investigator to assist with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's guardianship investigations.
In June 2016, AG Laxalt obtained unanimous approval from the Legislature's Interim Finance Committee to enhance the efforts of its pro bono legal aid partners by increasing existing funding for civil consumer protection efforts in the area of financial fraud. The $400,000 of settlement monies (non-taxpayer dollars) used to fund that partnership permitted the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada to provide immediate pro bono representation to combat financial fraud in the form of elder guardianship abuse. In order to boost the Office's existing resources to combat financial fraud including certain elder exploitation matters, AG Laxalt established a Financial Fraud Unit within the Office of the Nevada Attorney General to address a state and national increase in fraud complaints. The Unit, which is funded with non-taxpayer dollars, includes 10 new positions and was also unanimously approved by the Interim Finance Committee.