Bluffton Police developing program to monitor homebound citizens - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Bluffton police to help monitor homebound citizens

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BLUFFTON, SC (WTOC) -

The Bluffton Police Dept. is initiating a program for disabled, homebound or elderly residents to receive calls from the department to check on their health and well-being.

"The best time to get to know those who may need services is when they don't need services," Chief Joey Reynolds said. "This program allows the department's volunteers and officers to build a relationship with people who may just need a friendly call to make sure all is well.

"A call may not be much, however, it may mean the world to someone knowing they are connected to community support," Reynolds said.

Bluffton police is currently signing up consumers, as well as volunteers, for this program.

To sign up, please call the department at 706.4550 or stop by the station during normal business hours.

Consumers may be a senior citizen, a disabled person, a homebound resident or someone who lives alone.

Volunteers will call consumers of the program up to several times a week, with each call lasting approximately five minutes and made during business hours. Calls will be made during business days with weekends and holidays excluded.

This is a free service.

The service will continue until the consumer decides he or she does not need the service.

If department volunteers are unable to make contact with the consumer after calling three days in a row, an officer will be sent to the home to check on the welfare of the indivicual.

A volunteer can also request a follow-up visit from an officer if the volunteer perceives indicators in the conversation that merit an in-person welfare check.

"The goal of the program is to reduce a person's or a family's concern about a loved one living alone," Sgt. D. Scott Chandler, supervisor of the Neighborhood Services Unit, said in a statement. "We hope a weekly call can help individuals live independently while decreasing possible feelings of loneliness and isolation.  It is a simple way to connect homebound folks with community support."

If you want to volunteer for this program, please call 706.4550 or email Sgt. Chandler for an application (dchandler@townofbluffton.com).  Volunteers are asked to commit to a two-hour block each week and must pass a background check.  Training will be provided.

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