WPD program provides crucial support for seniors living alone
WILLIAMS, Ariz. — The Williams Police Department (WPD) senior call check program provides daily check-ins for senior citizens who live alone. This program ensures that seniors receive the necessary support and attention they need, giving them and their families peace of mind.
Since its implementation in 2008 by retired Williams Police Chief Herman Nixon, the program has been a pillar of support for the community for over 15 years.
“I would say a good few times over the years, we've walked in and found somebody on our program that's fallen, and couldn't get up. And so we've been able to render assistance,” said Williams Police Chief Tad Wygal, “I think it's one of our most successful community service programs that we do.”
As part of this initiative, the WPD Dispatch Center makes two daily phone calls to seniors who live alone or with someone unable to provide assistance, those with disabilities, and those without local family to check in on them. Seniors must live within the city limits.
Individuals involved in the daily call program adhere to specific requirements, including notifying the police department before leaving town for vacations or other prolonged absences from their homes.
In the event that a senior fails to answer the daily phone call from the WPD's senior assistance program, the department will take additional measures to ensure their safety. Firstly, the WPD will attempt to contact someone from a list of emergency contacts that the senior has provided. If this fails, the department may dispatch a police officer to visit the senior's residence for a welfare check.
In situations where the senior fails to answer the door, the WPD will use a key provided to enter the home and check on their well-being. This extra level of precaution ensures that seniors receive the care and support they need, even in cases where they are unable to respond to phone calls or communicate their needs.
The WPD's senior assistance program is a vital resource for seniors living alone or in need of additional support. By providing regular check-ins and taking proactive measures to ensure their safety, the department is helping to promote a safer and more connected community for all.
“It’s a program that provides some reassurance for folks,” Wygal said. “We're not going to go out and run a bunch of errands, but we absolutely do expect to be called if they need assistance for any reason.”
The program currently provides essential support to about five senior citizens in Williams.
For those interested in learning more about the program requirements or obtaining additional information, the WPD encourages seniors or their family members to call (928) 635-4461 or by visiting the WPD station at 501 W Rte 66.