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SDPD Units

Elder and Dependent Abuse Unit

Seniors today are more active, independent, and in better health than ever before. However, as the population of seniors grows, so does the epidemic of elder abuse and neglect. The elder population is the fastest growing, most affluent and most vulnerable to abuse. San Diego has over 305,000 elders (65 and older). Statistics show that one out of twenty elders will be a victim of elder abuse in their lifetime. Only 19% of elder abuse incidents are reported.

The Elder and Dependent Abuse Unit was created in 2000 to identify those individuals who prey on senior and dependent adult citizens and to seek prosecution of these perpetrators. Apprehension and successful prosecution of these criminals is instrumental in helping to develop a more secure environment for senior and dependent adults.

Call 911 if you witness elder or dependent adult abuse. If you suspect ongoing abuse call the SDPD at (858) 484-3154 or (619) 531-2000. If you suspect instances of abuse call San Diego County Aging & Independence Services at (800) 510-2020. This agency carries out investigations and provides assistance and case management where appropriate. The SDPD will be informed if abuse is involved. For further information you can call the SDPD Elder Abuse Unit at (619) 533-3500 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. See the Senior Safety and Security page under Prevention Tips on this website for ways to reduce the risk of becoming a victim of elder abuse and other crimes.

Mission Statement

The San Diego Police Department Elder Abuse Unit is committed in its efforts to identify those individuals who prey on our senior and dependent adult citizens and to seek prosecution of these perpetrators. Through networking, we will develop and nurture good working relationships with the community and organizations that share our goal. We are dedicated to the belief that the apprehension and successful prosecution of these criminals will be instrumental in helping to develop a more secure environment for senior and dependent adults.

Definitions Of Elder And Dependent Adult Abuse

  • An elder is 65 years old or older
  • A dependent adult is 64 years old with a physical or mental disability resulting in an inability to protect his/her own rights
  • Abuse is defined as the physical abuse, neglect, intimidation, cruel punishment, financial abuse, abandonment, or other treatment resulting in pain or physical or mental suffering, or deprivation by a caretaker of goods or services which are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering

For more information, see California Penal Code 368.