Triad Historical Overview
Triad was first conceived at the genesis of the community policing movement in law enforcement in the 1980s.
In 1988, representatives from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) came together to attempt to define a way to help keep older adults safe from crime. The Triad model emerged from that effort. Triad is not an acronym; it represents a group of three. Triad’s goal at its inception, as now, is to reduce crime against older adults, and to reduce the fear of crime that older adults often experience.
The first Triad agreement was signed in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana in 1988. From that point forward, word about the Triad model spread and communities large and small adopted the concept. The three founding groups, AARP, IACP and NSA, promoted the idea at every opportunity. By the early 2000’s, more than 800 counties had signed Triad agreements.
In 1989, Louisiana signed the first statewide Triad agreement, a vehicle by which individual communities in a particular state could come together to share ideas and information. Since that time, 34 states have signed a statewide agreement at one time or another. Many of these 34 state Triad groups are still active and meet periodically to pool resources and provide training and technical assistance to one another.
During the early days of Triad, the primary focus was to expand the concept as much as possible in order to ensure that older adults throughout the country would be safe. The outcome was that Triad agreements were signed in 47 states, and each constructed programs and activities that met the individual needs of that particular community.
Over time, the number and kinds of agencies that partnered with community leaders for form a Triad grew considerably. In the early days, only representatives from the three founding groups participated in Triad. Nowadays, most Triads have a large and varied number of partners from the community.
In 2000, the National Sheriffs’ Association created an affiliate not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, the National Association of Triads, Inc., in an effort to institutionalize the Triad effort, and to bring uniformity to the programs and activities conducted nationwide.