Sheriff proposes senior crime prevention program
by Courtney Stevens
Nov 10, 2013 | 2641 views | 0 0 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Bolivar County Sheriff Kelvin Williams stands before a group explaining the need for a Triad program in Bolivar County.
Bolivar County Sheriff Kelvin Williams stands before a group explaining the need for a Triad program in Bolivar County.
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Senior citizens will soon be able to sleep better at night.

Authorities with the Bolivar County Regional Correctional Facility, and Sheriff Kelvin Williams in particular, are working to implement a new program called Triad.

Triad is a group of individuals who work together on crime prevention and protection for the community's senior citizens.

"We have experienced a lot of calls from seniors who have been victims of numerous crimes. From fraud to abuse, I felt like I really needed to do something that would help us to bridge that gap and make communication better.

"From what I understand Triad is a program that improves the relationship between law enforcement and our senior community.

"We don't want you to feel like no one is willing to help you," said Williams.

Wayne Parker, director of Mississippi Leadership Council on Aging, came to the meeting to explain why Triad is necessary and how to get it started.

The American Association of Retired Persons, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the National Sheriffs' Association came together in 1988 and signed a cooperative agreement to work together to reduce criminal victimization and unwarranted fear of crime in senior citizens. From that agreement came the Triad program.

The Mississippi Leadership Council on Aging will provide grant funding and Parker suggested beginning a council that represents the communities well.

"You want people who are interested in the welfare of senior citizens in Bolivar County," said Parker.

Once begun, the Triad program could host crime prevention programs for older persons, give out information on how to avoid criminal victimization, create or expand involvement in neighborhood watch programs, give out home security information and inspections, as well as host social events for senior citizens with informative speakers.

Two projects Parker focused on were making sure homes were marked with signs stating the number of the house and getting senior citizens to fill out large orange information cards.

These cards include name, date of birth, allergies, health conditions, and medications.

Seniors could leave these cards on their refrigerator and during a time of emergency, emergency personnel would have ready access to this information if for some reason that senior citizen was unresponsive.

Parker mentioned that emergency personnel have been able to take that card off the fridge and move much more quickly in assisting those in need because they were already provided with important information.

Parker explained that Triad is a citizen run program and a person "can be involved part-time or be involved in a project," while others work with the program full-time.

"You can do as much as you want or as little as you can," said Parker.

The group will have another meeting to set up a council.

To become involved in Triad contact the sheriff's department at 662-843-5378.