New program helps connect seniors and law enforcement

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Police officers and firefighters in Easthampton want local senior citizens to know they have their back.

The new program, called Triad, is part of a new community policing effort designed to build relationships and increase safety for seniors

The program is part of a national community policing imitative that connects seniors with law enforcement and other service providers. It also helps seniors learn about safety through education and crime prevention. On Monday at the Easthampton Enrichment Center, the town’s council on aging, the Hampshire Sheriff's Office, and the Northwestern District Attorney's Office officially signed the Triad cooperative agreement. Rachel Senecal with the Northwestern D.A.'s Office said the program really opens the line of communication for seniors and law enforcement agencies. “Seniors really get a chance to voice their concerns whether that’s falls, ID theft, or possibly breaking and entering into their homes or things such as that that come with the aging process," Senecal said. As part of the program, officers make visits to home-bound seniors to teach them about different phone or mail scams that target elders.

They also provide emergency preparedness kits, lock boxes, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure seniors are safe in their own homes

One of the things Triad provides for seniors is this file of life where elders can include emergency contact information and a list of medications they take. Crime Prevention Officer David Fenton said communication is the most effective way to combat crime, which is why the program has seen such nationwide success. "Seniors are a really great bunch of people to work with they are great communicators, and they have a lot of insight that help law enforcement and service providers," Officer Fenton added. The Hampshire County Sheriff's Office also told Western Mass News the Triad program has been going on since 1988 and is continuing to grow.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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