City checks in on seniors
May 10, 2013 | 1237 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Tracy Police Department will restart a free automated phone service that checks the well-being of senior, disabled and homebound Tracy residents June 1.

Residents who sign up will pick a time of day to be called by the R.U.O.K. automated system. If no one responds to the initial call or a follow-up call a half-hour later, police dispatch will automatically receive a fax alerting them to the missed calls.

If dispatchers cannot reach someone listed as an emergency contact, a police officer will be sent to check on the condition of the person who missed the calls.

Lani Smith, support operations division manager for the police department, said the phone service was tried in 1999 but discontinued after a lack of community participation.

She said seniors and advocacy groups approached the department to bring the program back.

“Seniors came to us to ask for a partnership,” Smith said. “The program will help seniors who live alone or with no close relatives.”

When the automated phone call is made, the individual who answers will be asked to press a number to confirm that they are all right.

Smith said the phone calls would not involve talking to anyone, and individuals who sign up can change the time of day they want to be called or suspend service during a trip or vacation.

The $999 software for the phone system was donated by John Hartwick of Village Garden Apartments, and the marketing brochure printing was paid for by Tracy Sunrise Rotary.

The police department provided an analog fax line for the phone system.

During May, the automated calls will be tested by a group of nine volunteers to evaluate the system.

Residents can sign up for the service through the Tracy Police Department crime prevention unit at 831-6614 or www.tracypd.com.

People who sign up need to provide a name, address, date of birth, phone number and emergency contact information.

• Contact Glenn Moore at 830 4252 or gmoore@tracypress.com.
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