Eveleth Police Hope Program Will Help Care for Seniors

By KBJR News 1

March 29, 2013 Updated Mar 29, 2013 at 8:08 PM CDT

Eveleth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - If you have elderly relatives and loved ones, you might be familiar with the worry that comes when they live on their own. The Eveleth Police Department has started a program which they hope will help make that worry go away.

"They check on the elderly on a regular basis. They have them call in," said Officer Mark Chad, coordinator for the Department's SAFE (Senior Assistance Freedom Enrichment) program.

The program is meant to connect with people in the community on a daily basis that might need help or someone just to confirm that they're okay.

"My wife's grandfather had a similar situation where he was down on the ground for days before being checked up on," said Chad.

Chad got the idea from a department in Florida while he was on vacation. Participants call in to the police department every day. If they don't – police call them. If they don't pick up, an officer is sent to check on them, making sure they're safe and giving them and their families peace of mind.

"We do have an adverse population here with elderly. We do have people with special needs," said Eveleth Police Chief, Tim Koivunen.

Koivunen says he hasn't heard of any other community in the state with a program like this. He hopes it helps people realize that the department is here to help.

"That's what we're here for. We're here for the people," Koivunen said.

Chad hopes the daily phone calls will provide a sense of relief to everyone involved.

"Just to know that they're good to go, that they're well and safe everyday," he said.

Anyone interested in participating in the SAFE program is encouraged to visit or call the Eveleth Police Department for information.

Eveleth Police Department: (218) 744-7560

Written for the web by Jennifer Austin.