Recap: Call to Justice Awards 2018 Honors Traci Ruiz

By Jay Tomic Bobas, J.D., Managing Hotline Attorney TR web photo 

On August 15, 2018, Elder Law of Michigan honored Retired Lansing Police Department Lieutenant Traci Ruiz with the 2018 Joe D. Sutton Call to Justice Award for her elder abuse prevention work.  

The Joe D. Sutton Call to Justice Awards honor those that share the mission of Elder Law of Michigan, Inc. to advocate for, educate, and assist those in need, with a continued focus on older adults and persons with disabilities.  

Ron Tatro, Vice President of Elder Law of Michigan, said, “In the world of Elder Abuse prevention there are passionate advocates, experts, specialists, and then there is Traci.”  

 Traci specializes in training regarding elder abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, self-defense, and case consultation. Since 2000, she has been ardently devoted to the field of aging and human services working as a practitioner, planner, administrator, and educator.  She was a co-founder/co-chair of the Ingham County Elder Death Review Team with Dr. Dean Sienko from 2006-2012.  

Traci has chaired the following organizations: Ingham County TRIAD, a non-profit which provides for senior citizens, member since 2000 and elected chair 2009-2014; Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice Alumni Board, member since 2009 and elected chair 2014-2015; and the Michigan Elder Summit Committee, which has created a statewide Guideline for Elder Abuse Response (G.E.A.R.) for first observers, 2011-2013.  

 Governor Rick Snyder appointed Traci to the Board of Medicine in 2018 where she has also been assigned to the investigative subcommittee. She is passionate about effecting positive change within the aging population through teaching and elder initiatives.  

 Traci continues to provide care for many vulnerable adults, raise substantial financial capital for our elder community, locate free resources for them as needed, and organizes the annual “No Senior without Christmas” event where 350 boxes of necessities are collected, assembled, and distributed to indigent elders in the Tri-County Lansing, Michigan area.  

 Traci has been honored to serve the community for the past 25 years through her numerous roles with the Lansing Police Department. She recently retired as a Lieutenant and invested half of her career as an investigator with special interest and expertise in the area of Vulnerable Adult Abuse detection.  

 In addition to Traci’s extensive law enforcement vocation and instruction, her interest for protecting our vulnerable populations, bringing together disparate communities, and empowering individuals led to the establishment of Ruiz Consultants, LLC. Traci is dedicated to utilizing her police experience to increase elder abuse awareness and provide personal safety training, as well as collaborate with the public on elder initiatives. 

 Although Traci has retired from the Lansing Police Department, this has not stopped her from serving some of our most vulnerable members of our community. Elder Law of Michigan is proud to have honored Traci with the 2018 Joe D. Sutton Call to Justice Award.