Hosted by the Bartow TRIAD, Friday's Independence Celebration from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. will offer educational sessions from the Better Business Bureau of Greater Atlanta and Athens Area, a presentation from the Cartersville Police Department and a presentation on preventing health care fraud. A shredding service, which also is open to the public, will allow residents to shred unlimited documents. CPD will be collecting unused or expired prescription medications. In addition, the TRIAD will host a patriotic costume contest for both the seniors and the vendors.
Began in 2008, the Bartow TRIAD is a cooperative agreement between the Bartow County Sheriff's Office, all city police departments, city and county fire departments, Commissioner Clarence Brown, the senior centers, the Northwest Georgia Regional Commission Area Agency on Aging, Cartersville Medical Center and other community partners.
"Our goal is to help seniors and their caregivers recognize, report and prevent crime. We provide educational presentations in Bartow County on request and have a broad range of speakers available," said Kerry DeFoe, chairman of the TRIAD and GeorgiaCares coordinator for the NWGRC Area Agency on Aging.
While Defoe said Friday's event will focus on celebrating, the information presented will be vital.
"Just two years ago, there was a report in The Daily Tribune about a south Bartow resident who had lost over $2,000 to a foreign lottery scam. Police reports locally indicate that seniors are increasingly targeted for home improvement, health care, bank account and identity theft scams," Defoe said. "Most seniors have a very good credit rating, which makes them a prime target for identity theft.
"We try to keep our community informed on what is happening locally and what is new on the fraud and scam arena and how to confront and report the perpetrators. Identity theft is also enabled by improper disposal of mail and other personal documents."
Having served as the GeorgiaCares coordinator for six years, as well as serving as chair of the state TRIAD in 2009, Defoe said the decision to begin in Bartow County was an easy one.
"I worked toward establishing TRIADs throughout Georgia, and [there was] no better place to begin than in community where I live. I give special thanks to Sheriff Clark Millsap for his enthusiastic support of the TRIAD's efforts, and to Commissioner Brown for his unfailing dedication to and support of seniors in Bartow County."