Ward named Statesman of the Year

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Alabama Senior Citizens Hall of Fame named state Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, its Statesman of the Year during its annual Hall of Fame awards ceremony in Montgomery on Aug. 4.

Ward

Ward

The award came as a result of Ward’s work in passing a new elder abuse law during the Alabama Legislature’s 2013 session.

“This legislation has been a long time coming for our state,” Alabama Senior Services Commissioner Neal Morrison wrote in a press release. “For too long people have preyed upon the elderly in this state, and we have lacked the laws to find and punish them effectively.”

The new elder abuse law lays out punishments for those who harm or take advantage of senior citizens older than 60. The law covers abuse ranging from neglect and improper feeding to not providing proper medical care.

“This is what government is for – to help the most vulnerable of our citizens get the care and safety they deserve,” Ward said. “It’s an honor to receive this award, and it’s an even bigger honor to be a part of something that will make sure the grandmothers and grandfathers, aunts and uncles of our state can grow old in safety and dignity because we can now punish those who specifically prey on them.”

Senior Citizens Hall of Fame Chairman Warner Floyd praised Ward for sponsoring the elder abuse law.

“It is sad to say, but there are people out there who see older people as easy prey, and they try to defraud them. There are others who just don’t want to do what is needed to ensure the health and safety in their care,” Floyd wrote in a release. “Thanks to leaders like Senator Cam Ward, we can now put these types of people in jail.”