Good Neighbor Program wins $44,000 grant
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office received approval for a grant award of $44,000 from the Department of Justice for the 2020-21 fiscal year to assist with funding for the DCSO Good Neighbor Program. The funds will assist in strengthening and expanding the senior program. The micro-grant is a monetary award in the area of innovative community policing that specifically addresses problem solving and overcoming obstacles for rural law enforcement.
The Good Neighbor program has been in operation for over three years and has numerous success stories. The program is administered by Sgt. Bernadette Smith with the assistance of 46 volunteers who have been background checked and fingerprinted. The volunteers are trained in social services, signs and symptoms of elder abuse, neglect, exploitation, and suicide prevention.
The volunteers of the Sheriff’s Office call and/or visit their assigned client in the Good Neighbor Program on a weekly or monthly basis, dependent on client’s desires.
“Senior citizens are a large and vital part of our community. We must do all that we can to support and protect them,” said Sheriff Dan Coverley. “The Good Neighbor Program assists the Sheriff’s Office in doing just that.”
Elder abuse is widely underreported. According to the National Protective Association, 1 in 9 seniors are being abused, neglected or exploited. Older Americans can feel shame, guilt or embarrassment and may not report crimes. Cognitive impairment and the need for help with daily activities make seniors more vulnerable to predators. Relatives, friends, neighbors and professionals need to be aware of the signs.
If you know a senior who may need help of a volunteer, or if you want to know more about the program call the Good Neighbor Program at (775) 783-6441.