BROOKFIELD - The police department is looking into starting a senior citizen check-in program to oversee the welfare of its older residents.
"The biggest thing we're trying to work on is the senior citizen watch," police Chief Dan Faustino said.
The program is at its conception while the department researches similar programs, Faustino said.
He said he has been in communication with the township's senior citizen organization for a couple years, and when Weathersfield's ''Are You OK?'' program was brought up at a township meeting, he began to research more into it.
Faustino said they also have been looking at Liberty's senior watch program, which has been running since late 2008.
Liberty police Chief Richard Tisone said the township began its program in response to the tragic death of a senior citizen in March 2008.
Resident Mary Rush, 87, accidentally locked herself out of her home. She later was found on her front porch, bleeding from wounds and suffering hypothermia.
"It's just a great program. There are key boxes on homes and we make calls every morning," Tisone said.
Most of the calls are made by Liberty police secretary Macy Orlando and the fire department's secretary.
Orlando said they have had a positive response to the program. More than 130 senior residents are part of the program. Between 30 and 40 have requested phone call checks. Orlando said most of the senior citizens have key boxes on their homes that police can use in case of emergency.
"We really get to know the people we're calling," Orlando said.
On more than one occasion, the calls have lead to police assisting residents. Orlando said if the resident does not answer the phone, an officer is dispatched to the home.
A few times, Orlando said, residents had fallen and were unable to get to the phone. With access to the home from the key boxes, officers were able to enter the residence and help.
Most elderly residents have either called in to put themselves on the list or a family member has recommended it, she said. In other cases, Orlando said she has contacted residents that police have suggested, to offer them the department's services.
Weathersfield's "Are You Okay?" program is similar to Liberty's. It has three options for enrolled seniors: check in, elderly call and senior watch.
The check in program lets the resident decide on a time and day to call into the police station to confirm their welfare each week. For the elderly call program, the department will call the resident, and for the senior watch program, an officer will visit the resident on a weekly basis.
Faustino said he hopes to be able to take the best aspects from each program to create a good fit for Brookfield.
One of Brookfield's main focuses for 2013 is watching its budget, Faustino said. With recent cuts, Faustino said they are working to keep up their services without reductions, thus he is looking for a volunteer contingency to run the program under the supervision of the department.
He said he already has people interested in the volunteer positions and that the program should be implemented within the next three to six months.