COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) - As we all get ready to gather with family tomorrow, there are some in our community who don't have that luxury and that's why local police are reaching out to them. They're offering a free service that could be a lifesaver.
It's a monitoring system program between police and those who are elderly or disabled and live alone. The goal, in part, is to give participants an extra sense of security.
Geraldine Colgin is 82 years old. She lives alone and has health problems. Colgin says for years she's worried about having an accident in her home, like falling, with no one around to help. Those worries have been lifted thanks to a program that connects police with residents like Colgin.
"They call me daily at ten," said Colgin.
The program is called Keepsafe and it's free. Those enrolled specify a time each day they want to be contacted by dispatch personnel. If the participant doesn't answer...
"We wait a few minutes and call back in case they were outside, and if they don't answer on the second call we'll send a police officer to the home to check on them. If they're not going to be home on their specified day and time then they call us," said Gayle Bradshaw, Emergency Communications Officer.
Although the program targets senior citizens, there isn't an age requirement. However, you must live alone and be a resident in Colonial Heights.
"It can get them help quicker, to the hospital quicker, and treatment quicker," said Bradshaw.
As for Colgin her daily calls from dispatch has led to a sense of comfort and friendship.
"When they call they don't just say, 'Did you make it through the night?' Usually we kid around and talk to each other," said Colgin.
Similar programs are offered in other localities. To find out more about Keepsafe in Colonial Heights contact police.