Released By City of St. Cloud
In December 2013, the St. Cloud Police Department joined forces with the Osceola Council on Aging (COA). The goal was to provide a unique community service program called the St. Cloud Police Senior Watch. Fast forward to 2018, and the St. Cloud Police Senior Watch program has been a great success.
The program is geared towards senior citizens, 60 years of age and older, who primarily live alone. The program focuses on elderly crime prevention – such as elderly abuse, neglect, exploitation and fraud. The program enables road patrol officers to visit seniors at their homes, establish a rapport and make sure their health and well being are being looked after, properly. Any concerning issues that are observed are reported immediately. Patrol officers make routine house visits, mostly during daytime, weekend hours. In the event a senior is not home, contact is made by telephone; however, if the senior cannot be contacted/located, then officers reach out to the Osceola Council on Aging in an effort to locate a family member and check on the senior’s well being.
With a large majority of senior residents, the St. Cloud Police Department has found a unique way to engage seniors within the community, while deterring elderly-related crimes. The Senior Watch program provides reassurance to seniors living alone, and without family living nearby. Additionally, the St. Cloud Police Department provides Senior Watch members with emergency magnets that contain a list of non-emergency numbers, family/friends contacts and even medication lists. The magnets help seniors plan for emergencies and provide first responders with pertinent information in the case of an emergency situation.
The Senior Watch program is free of charge. It’s a program that provides peace of mind to not only our senior citizens, but their family and friends. It also helps reassure everyone that St. Cloud Police Officers are looking out for them, reducing crime and elderly victimization.
“The Osceola Council on Aging is very appreciative of the collaboration between the St. Cloud Police Department and the Council on Aging through the Senior Watch program. The officers are dedicated public servants who go above and beyond to protect the safety of our St. Cloud seniors. They always find time to listen and comfort our vulnerable elderly. Hats off to our wonderful St. Cloud Police!” stated Beverly Hougland, Osceola Council on Aging CEO.
Interested individuals are asked to call 407-891-6735 for more information.