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Wake Deputies Help Elderly During Heat Wave

Posted August 7, 2007

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— Wake County deputies are helping vulnerable populations ride out the most recent heat wave safely.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office runs a program in which elderly people who live alone can enroll. Deputies then call daily to make sure the elderly participants are doing fine.

"Once we don't make contact by phone ... if we have a person closer by, like a brother, sister, uncle or aunt, we call them, notify them," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.

"And, hopefully, they'll be there at the same time we are or sooner," he said.

The four-year-old program has helped save lives when the Triangle experiences weather extremes, including winter cold spells or the most recent heat wave that has temperatures threatening to hit 100 degrees, officials said.

The deputies become someone the elderly participants feel they can express their needs to, Harrison said.

"If it's too hot in there (the program participants' houses), if it's too cold in the wintertime, they let us know about it, and we try to get them help," Harrison said.

Deputies often form bonds with the elderly people they call every day of the year, Harrison said.

"Some of the deputies sort of adopt these people, and they go by on a regular basis," Harrison said.

Forty-eight Wake residents are enrolled in the program, which is free.

To qualify, residents must be at least 65 years old and live alone.

66 Comments

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  • lizard Aug 8, 2007

    Way to go msstokes!!! Someone gets it! Plenty of people out here to get the job done w/o tying up LEO's.

    (Cary PD use to do this back in the 70's and 80's before the Town got too big, and the Country so litigious,,,,FYI)

  • msstokes Aug 8, 2007

    Does anyone know what I could do to help with this program. I am not working now and I could at least help with the calls and the visits.

  • buckaroo24 Aug 7, 2007

    they better check their pockets then

  • skinnycow Aug 7, 2007

    Ok Steve. Stand behind your post and I will stand behind hers. Have a great night sir.

  • Stevesteve Aug 7, 2007

    I stand behind my original assessment. She sounded thickheaded and pompous. If she were not, the thought of wasted resources would not have even entered her mind at all.

  • skinnycow Aug 7, 2007

    Thanks suZ, I try..LOL

  • SingleLensReflex.SLR Aug 7, 2007

    my first thought was "wow, waste of resources that deputies (who i think of as being highly trained and very valuable) use their time to make daily calls and things that could be done by someone with less training and lower salaries BUT THEN I realized .. this is great, making connections with peoples' families, people who are regular folks, not just suspects and victims (who of course also are often regular folks) but also how great for the deputies to get involved in something they get regular thanks for doing. Good use of my tax dollars.

    and geisha girl, good come-back!!

  • elliemae Aug 7, 2007

    Donnie Harrison is a great man. He cares about people and his department. He always praises his deputies. He will always have my vote.

  • elliemae Aug 7, 2007

    This is so wonderful. It is great to hear something good for a change.

  • deerslayer Aug 7, 2007

    actually, I think that WRAL gets a bigger laugh than anybody

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