Goodwin delivers messages about scams against seniors, school safety and crime prevention

Last updated: April 04. 2014 1:21PM - 820 Views
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MADISON – U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin says it’s not only his job to prosecute federal crimes, but to also do what he can to help prevent crimes before they happen.

“Part of my larger mission as the prosecuting attorney for the southern district of West Virginia is to address crime prevention and attempt to solve community issues we face,” Goodwin said during a visit to the Madison Rotary Club on Thursday, April 3, 2014.

Goodwin said he was honored to speak to the Madison Rotarians.

“The Rotary Club is an organization that is a force for good in the community,” he said. “I have great admiration of Rotary’s mission to put service above self in its community. Rotarians are many times the heart of a community.”

Goodwin spoke about scams that target the elderly in the community.

“Every day criminals are targeting our senior citizens,” he said. “Financial crimes that include identity theft, credit card fraud, bank forgery and many other horrible crimes are aimed directly at the elderly in our community.”

Goodwin said education and knowledge is key to preventing these and other types of crimes against seniors.

“Part of my mission includes going to senior centers and other groups for the elderly to give them tips and information to keep our senior citizens safe,” he said.

Goodwin offers a small brochure with tip for seniors for protecting themselves in their homes and from scams over the telephone, online and through the mail.

“If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is,” he explained. “So remember, report any crime or suspicious activity to your local law enforcement agency.”

Goodwin talked about the prescription drug addiction problem in West Virginia. He said the U.S. Attorney’s Office, joined by federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, is committed to aggressively pursuing and shutting down illegal pill trafficking, eliminating open air drug markets, and curtailing the spread of opiate painkillers and heroin in communities across the Southern District.

“Home invasions targeting senior citizens are on the rise,” he said. “My office is doing everything it can to crack down on the prescription drug problem and will keep going after the people who target vulnerable seniors.”

Goodwin said a community’s senior citizens are its most valuable resource.

“They deserve the right to feel safe in their homes,” he said.

Goodwin also spoke about safety in schools.

“Educators, law enforcement and communities are working together for safe schools,” he said. “We are leading the charge on school safety by offering practical and local steps to prevent bullying and school violence. We are enhancing physical security, as well as anti-bullying strategies.”

Goodwin announced that the opiate abuse prevention film, “Equal Opportunity Destroyer” or “E.O.D.” has received a prestigious bronze Telly award.

“With nearly 12,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries, this is truly an honor,” he said.

The “EOD” video includes interviews with recovering addicts, treatment professionals and others with the aim of laying out the real-life risks and consequences of opiate prescription drug and heroin use.

The educational video was developed through a partnership between the U. S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia and the Huntington Police Department. It was funded by a grant from the West Virginia Division of Justice and Community Services and produced by Trifecta Productions, LLC,

Goodwin praised the work of Trifecta Productions.

“The folks at Trifecta did a remarkable job of capturing the power of the real life stories in a film that hits hard on the message that opiate abuse and its tragic consequences can happen to anyone,” he said. “It is our hope that some of the young people who view the video will make better decisions regarding opiates and other drugs.”

The video can be viewed on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, SDWV, at http://www.youtube.com/user/USAOSDWV, the EOD website at www.eodwv.com or the WV Safe Schools website at www.wvsafeschools.com

On Friday, April 4, 2014, Goodwin delivered remarks during the West Virginia Child Advocacy Network’s first statewide conference at the Lakeview Resort in Morgantown. The conference, attended by approximately 160 professionals, promoted best practices, updates and trends in the child abuse field.

Goodwin discussed various topics, including an update on a pilot project aimed at preventing and mitigating the impact of trauma on children exposed to violence – “Handle With Care” – and other key issues that are critical to a collaborative response by law enforcement, schools and mental health professionals to crimes against children.

The West Virginia Child Advocacy Network (WVCAN) 2014 Conference, held April 3 – 4, 2014, is a partnership among WV CAN, West Virginia Children’s Justice Task Force, Sisters of Joseph Health & Wellness Foundation, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Goodwin grew up in Ripley and was appointed U.S. District Attorney for Southern West Virginia on May 27, 2010, by the President of the United States.

If you would like to arrange for U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin to speak to your school or community group, please call 304-345-2200.

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