Helena, Mont.- Commissioner Troy Downing and members of the Office of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance (CSI) met with community members in Missoula to discuss the creation of a Western Montana Elder Justice Council.
“It takes an entire community to identify, educate, and prevent elder exploitation.” Commissioner Troy Downing said, “Five months ago, my administration reconvened the Elder Justice Task Force to create additional councils in western, north-central, and south-central Montana following the incredible success of the Eastern Montana Elder Justice Council. The Councils originated in our agency because our team specializes in examining, investigating, and prosecuting financial crimes, including elder exploitation. The CSI is the sole state agency with the authority to stop or delay a financial transaction – providing our team with an important tool to protect senior citizens.”
With bipartisan support and the signing of House Bill 24 in 2017, Montana endorsed its commitment to protecting vulnerable persons from exploitation. In 2019 under State Auditor Matt Rosendale, a multi-jurisdictional task force was created to combat financial exploitation in Eastern Montana. The Eastern Montana Elder Justice Council, a criminal justice agency, coordinates efforts to reduce abuse and neglect of senior citizens.
“The Auditor’s office has spearheaded the creation of additional statewide task forces to build on the success of the Eastern Montana Elder Justice Council.” Commissioner Downing continues, “It takes more than a single agency to combat elder exploitation. Elder abuse can come in several forms, including physical, emotional, and financial. The interdisciplinary, multi-agency Elder Justice Task Force removes bureaucratic hurdles and increases cooperation and communication among agencies battling elder exploitation and abuse.”
Members of the public and law enforcement professionals are encouraged to serve on the Elder Justice Council Boards and partner to help these multi-agency task forces educate senior citizens and vulnerable people. Those interested can learn more by contacting the Office of the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance.
“Public education is critical. We need to get the word out that these councils are forming, and additional resources are being made available to combat elder exploitation and abuse in all 56 counties in Montana.” Commissioner Downing continues, “Montana has one of the oldest per capita populations in the country. Of the agency’s securities fraud cases prosecuted, 75% involve a victim 65 years or older. Creating three new councils is long overdue and will be highly impactful in stopping elder exploitation.”
Commissioner Troy Downing and CSI team members have additional meetings in Great Falls and Bozeman this week to discuss the creation of the South Central and North Central Elder Justice Councils with community members. The public, law enforcement, County Attorney Offices, and members of the media are encouraged to attend.
Northcentral Elder Justice Council Meeting
November 16 at 11:00 am
Great Falls Library, Cordingley Room. 301 2nd Ave. N.
Southcentral Elder Justice Council Meeting
November 17 at 11:00 am
Gallatin County Detention Center, Community Room. 605 S. 16th Ave.