Volunteers Needed to Keep Seniors Safe

By: Lanetra Bennett
September 4, 2014

Gadsden County, FL - It might seem scary to have men in law enforcement uniforms come to your house. But, now when it's COPS -- Citizens on Patrol.

C.O.P. is a program with the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office where community volunteers visit the elderly.

Archie Mae Carter, 88, says, "It makes me feel good, someone thinking about me. They'll call and check on me, they're going to call and I enjoy that. They ask me what I need."

The volunteers making the calls are with the program, K.I.S.S -- Keeping Independent Seniors Safe. They call elderly residents to check on their well-being.

If no one answers, they send a C.O.P. K.I.S.S. volunteer, Alice Stokes, says, "One time we went out on patrol and when we got to the senior's house, she had fallen and she had blood all over her. So, what we did was went in and tried to stop the blood and then we called 911."

The volunteers, who are mostly seniors themselves, get marked patrol cars and full uniforms.

Volunteer Willie Long can attest that sometimes visits go beyond sitting and chatting. He says he does it all. He says, "I'm sort of like a handyman in some of my skills. It's a good feeling. So, if we can do it, we do it. If we don't, we'll report it back and they'll get somebody to go out there that's qualified to handle that situation."

Volunteer Billy Redding says, "It's a good program. I wouldn't miss it for the world."

The programs have been around since 2010, but volunteers are now needed to keep it going. The volunteers make the calls and visits twice a week. Anyone interested in volunteering for C.O.P. or K.I.S.S, call 850-627-9233 or 850-875-8833.

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