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Ingham County Law Enforcement Joins Department of Attorney General for Sentinel Project Training
October 12, 2023
LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel kicked off a series of prosecutorial and law enforcement trainings in Ingham County today. The training was provided by the Department’s Sentinel Project team and will help local law enforcement agencies identify and investigate allegations of abuse, neglect or misconduct in the area’s long-term care facilities.
The training was hosted at the Lansing Police Department and included Clinton County Prosecutor Tony Spagnuolo as well as law enforcement officers from nearby agencies including Grand Ledge, Buchanan City, Lansing Township, Clinton and Eaton Counties.
“It is imperative that we do all we can to keep the quality of long-term care as high as possible as we can expect more and more people to rely on that system for care,” said Nessel in her opening remarks. “Today’s training will better help you recognize, respond to, and address instances of vulnerable adult abuse within your community.”
The goal of the trainings is to help county and local prosecutors and law enforcement officers:
- Understand the regulatory framework in play with nursing homes, homes for the aged, and assisted living facilities;
- Differentiate between complaints that belong with a regulatory agency and complaints that could support criminal charges; and
- Be better equipped to effectively investigate those complaints and know how to secure help, if needed.
“We believe that by creating partnerships with local law enforcement agencies – such as the departments you represent – and by providing education on how to best address these issues, we can create a change for the good in our residential facilities,” Nessel continued.
The Department of Attorney General currently has two additional trainings scheduled: October 23rd in Kent County and November 6th in Oakland County. The Sentinel Project is working with law enforcement organizations like the Michigan Sheriffs Assocation, Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Officers Association of Michigan to advertise the trainings and schedule new dates across the state. Agencies throughout Michigan who are interested in hosting a training in their region are encouraged to contact the Department with their request.
By the year 2060, the senior population in the United States is projected to be over 94 million. At an increase of almost 70%, many of these individuals will require assistance in nursing facilities. This influx, often referred to as the Silver Tsunami, will significantly impact long-term care facilities.
“The vast majority of those who provide residential care in Michigan do so with integrity and respect,” said Nessel. “However, as the number of Michigan residents in long-term facilities grow, so should our vigilance. Partnerships and training with local law enforcement agencies is a critical part of that equation.
“When nursing home ownership, management, and direct care workers know law enforcement is trained, present, and engaged—there is a positive impact on the quality of care provided to vulnerable adults.”
If you or someone you know is being abused or neglected in a nursing facility, please let us know by contacting the Michigan Attorney General’s Health Care Fraud Hotline at (800) 24-ABUSE (2-2873) or file a complaint online through the Michigan Attorney General Patient Abuse Complaint Form.
The Sentinel Project is housed within the Health Care Fraud Division of the Department of Attorney General. The Health Care Fraud Division receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $5,541,992 for federal fiscal year 2024. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $1,847,362, is funded by the State of Michigan.
A recording of the Attorney General’s opening remarks can be found here.