Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department initiates call-in program for those living alone, elderly

Posted May 02, 2014, at 3:28 p.m.
Last modified May 02, 2014, at 6:56 p.m.

HOULTON, Maine — In today’s electronic age, it is easy to keep track of loved ones through emails or social networking sites. But for many, nothing beats a good phone conversation.

That is why the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department is participating in the Friendly Caller Program in Aroostook County. This program is available to people who live alone, are elderly or otherwise limited in mobility and do not have a personal support network that checks in on them daily.

“We’ve been seeing more and more seniors signing up for this program,” Deputy Chief Darrell Crandall said. “We never anticipated we would have hundreds of people calling us each morning because this program was catered to a specific group. But we are seeing an increase. A lot of people, unfortunately, simply do not have anyone who can check in with them.”

Every day, between 6-10 a.m., registered participants call the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department dispatch center to check in. If they do not call by 10 a.m., a dispatcher will call them. If the participant does not answer, a deputy sheriff (or a designated neighbor) will go check on them.

In towns where there is a municipal police department and the department is willing, participants will be registered with them. In towns where there is no police department or the department is not willing to be involved, participants will be registered with the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s department is not the only law enforcement agency to offer this service. The Houlton Police Department has regularly provided checkups. Crandall said a number of other agencies have stated that if someone from their coverage area contacts the sheriff’s department looking to sign up, they would happily extend the service as well.

For more information, call the Aroostook County Sheriff’s Department at 532-3471.

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