John Horvath, Police Chief
168 Main St.
Rockport, MA 01834
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015
Contact: Jessica Sacco
Email: [email protected]
“Good Morning Rockport” Program Leads Police to Injured Senior
ROCKPORT — Chief John Horvath is pleased to report that the police department’s “Good Morning Rockport” program helped lead an officer to an injured senior yesterday morning.
The Rockport Police Department implemented the initiative in March, which serves as a voluntary wellness check for seniors living alone. Every morning, between 8-10 a.m., participants contact the dispatch center to let police know they’re OK.
“We want to make sure our seniors who live independently know that there is someone else looking out for them every morning to make sure they’re doing well,” Chief Horvath said. “Additionally, if there is an emergency situation, police will know about it and assist in whatever way possible.”
If a senior misses a call, dispatch will then work to locate the person. An officer will first contact the senior by phone at home, or one of the participant’s family members or neighbors, who signed up as an emergency contact. If the senior is still not located, an officer is sent to the resident’s home for a face-to-face check-in.
In most cases, if the senior doesn’t call, police find out that the person either forgot, or was out of the house doing errands. (Participants who have planned vacations, surgeries or other activities that would prevent them from calling for their daily check-in, should let police know ahead of time).
Yesterday morning, however, when Reserve Officer Mary Edgerton was working in dispatch and didn’t hear from one of the program’s seniors, a cruiser was sent to the woman’s home.
An officer then entered the woman’s house and found her laying on the floor. The resident had at some point fallen the previous day, and was unable to reach her cell phone to call for help. She was then taken to the Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester to be evaluated, but returned home today, where she made her daily check-in call with Rockport Police.
The initiative is modeled after the Georgetown Police Department’s, “Good Morning Georgetown Wellness Check.” It was implemented by the former Chief James Mulligan, who served as interim chief for Rockport before Chief Horvath’s appointment. Currently, 13 women and two men have signed up for the program, with ages ranging from 60 to 90 years old.
“This program couldn’t be successful with out the support from dispatch and the officers who take time out of their schedules to perform the check-ins,” said Special Officer for Elder Affairs Roger Lesch. “Since we’re such a small town, this is a great community initiative that is helping our seniors stay safe every day.”
Residents who would like to find out more about Good Morning Rockport, or would like to sign up for the program should call Officer Lesch at 978-546-1212, ext.13.