Local News

New Wake Sheriff Program Assists Senior Citizens

Posted May 29, 2003

— The Wake County Sheriff's Office is starting a program aimed at protecting elderly loved ones.

From her living room chair, Betsy Davis has a front row seat to life. Most of what Betsy sees, she sees by herself because she lives alone, but the 88-year-old said she would not have it any other way.

"If I want to watch who's going where, I can. That's just me," she said.

Davis said when she is tired of people watching, she picks up the phone. While she keeps watch over her world, soon someone else will be watching over her.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office will be making a daily phone call to elderly citizens like Davis, who live alone. Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said the purpose is to make sure they are safe.

"If you don't answer the phone, we'll call back in a few minutes," he said. "If you don't answer a second time, they will call a contact person if we have one. If we can't get one, then we'll send a deputy to check on you."

The motive for the service hits close to home for Harrison.

"My dad lived 100 miles away after my mother passed away with very few relatives and I said if I ever become sheriff, I'll put that in place," he said.

For Davis, the phone call is like a visitor stopping by.

"I just think it's a good idea because then you have someone who will come if you need help," she said.

Right now, the Sheriff's Office is only testing the service with a group of 10 senior citizens. The Sheriff's Office eventually plans on expanding the program.


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