According to a Press Release from Wise County's Commonwealth Attorney, Chuck Slemp III, it was recently announced the very first meeting of a new collaborative program that is designed to combat and prevent abuse and financial exploitation of seniors and incapacitated adults.
The Wise County Elder Abuse Multidisciplinary Team members will include prosecutors, law enforcement offices and investigators, victim advocates and social workers who will all meet to review active cases.
This makes Wise County among the first in the Commonwealth to form such a team and use multidisciplinary collaborations also referred to as a MDT Team, to more effectively identify, prosecute and prevent crimes against elders.
In 2016, Slemp formed a task force to address the issues of crimes against elders, and the task force has been regularly meeting since then to raise public awareness, host trainings for law enforcement, and advocate for changes to Virginia's laws.
MDT Teams bring together personnel from various professional disciplines to consult on specific allegations of crime. In Virginia, a similar collaborations is used for child abuse cases and the Code of Virginia mandates the prosecutor from every jurisdiction in Virginia to create MDT's for child abuse.
The MDT Team will meet regularly to review cases designed for prosecution, but also to discuss situations that are not yet ready for prosecution in an ongoiing effort to stop the problem before it becomes criminal.