SCHERERVILLE | Police Chief David Dowling understands it can be difficult for some senior citizens when they encounter challenges in their lives.
A new initiative started by the Schererville Police Department sets out to ensure those residents are receiving assistance when it's needed.
Through the Morning Call program, members of the town's Volunteers in Police Services call Schererville senior citizens and homebound residents every weekday to check their well-being and ask if they need services.
"It's well worth it," Dowling said of the program.
He thinks the initiative is especially important for Schererville residents who don't have family in the area.
The free service also provides an opportunity for the Police Department to provide senior citizens with information about crimes that target the elderly, said Schererville police Cpl. Timothy Arvanitis, who organized the initiative.
"It's the right thing to do," Arvanitis said.
Dowling said five people have registered so far to receive calls, but he hopes more residents will participate.
"We're only a week into it," he said of the initiative.
Those who are participating have indicated they are grateful for the service, Arvanitis said.
"We're just happy to do it," he said.
After a resident is enrolled, times are scheduled to contact that person each weekday, Dowling said.
If volunteers are unable to contact a participant, a Schererville police officer is sent to that person's residence, Dowling said.
Participants are asked to notify the Police Department in advance if they know they will be away from their homes during their scheduled call times.
Dowling said possible ways the Police Department can enhance community outreach are discussed during regular meetings he has with staff, and the idea for the Morning Call program was developed through those meetings.
Arvanitis said the Schererville Police Department is the first in the region to offer the service.
Town Council President Rob Guetzloff said he hopes other communities will provide the program.
"It's an excellent program," Guetzloff said, "I'm glad (Dowling) and his staff are putting it together."
Schererville residents interested in enrolling in the Morning Call program can contact Arvanitis at (219) 322-5000, ext. 324.