The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

May 11, 2013

Prevent crimes before they befall senior citizens

Randy Meier
The Clinton Herald

---- — Hello, loyal readers.

I’m Randy Meier. Sheriff Rick Lincoln named me to fill the Seniors vs. Crime position upon the well-deserved retirement of Alan Green. I retired in October 2011 after 33 years of service with the Clinton Police Department. For the last 11 years at the police department, I worked as the detective commander. Doing that work, Mr. Green and I sometimes worked together on investigating crimes against senior citizens. I admired his efforts to gain the cooperation of seniors to further the investigations. I envied his reach in the senior community and saw how he used these contacts to push crime prevention.

When I learned about the opening of this position, I saw this as an opportunity to do some real good in the community. As the Seniors vs. Crime director, I want to carry on the service to the senior community Mr. Green practiced. I plan to continue outreach throughout Clinton County, introducing myself individually, or to groups of seniors.

When I worked as a detective, almost everything I did was in reaction to someone already victimized. In many of the crimes against seniors, I found it frustrating law enforcement did so little to bring justice. Often we found it impossible to identify the criminal, or even more often, out of reach in a foreign country. Through these experiences, I know it is much, much easier to prevent a crime through education, than it ever is to resolve the issue afterwards. With this in mind, I want to educate the community on how to prevent their victimization. I plan to keep current in the changing criminal trends and scams, nationally and locally, and push that information to our public, and help folks not be a victim.

I learned pretty early in my police career, many of the reverses and losses which befall people are not crimes, or will never be proved as crimes. That pretty much ends the case for a police officer. In this position, I plan to explore what other options are available to resolve the problem. These options might be within the legal system, using social service resources or even informal methods.

I know I’ve much to learn in this position, so ask for your patience. I am eager to serve the community. If you’ve got a problem, let me know about it!

Randy Meier is the director of Seniors vs. Crime, which operates in conjunction with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.