ALPINE - The Alpine Police Department is taking extra steps to make sure the elderly and disabled are okay. All it takes is a phone call.
The "R U OK" program was designed to give the elderly and disabled a call multiple times a week, just to make sure they're okay.
Captain Darrell Losoya of the Alpine Police Department, said, "Most of the people now have the lifeline, but a lot of people can't afford the lifeline and so that's why we implemented the "R U OK" program."
Lifeline or Life Alert can cost up to $50 per month, which may be more than some individuals can afford. But the "R U OK" program is free and can even be used by their family members.
Keelee King, Dispatcher for the Alpine Police Department, said, "If there is a situation where someone is unable to get a hold of their mother or father that lives here in Alpine, and they live out of the city or out of the state, they can call us and we can try to contact them."
"And if they don't respond to that call in the morning that's when we can send a police officer to go check on them," Losoya said.
Users of the "R U OK" program can choose how many days per week they would like to be contacted, the most would be to receive a call five times a week.
"If there's a situation where they have a home health nurse that's there during the week and they're not there on the weekends, we can always call them on the weekends just to make sure they're okay," King said.
The program is also a great way for the police department to build lasting relationships with the elderly community, where they look forward to receiving that phone call.
"As far as the dispatchers, they make that call everyday and most of the time they're having conversations with the elderly just because they have no one else to talk to," Losoya said.
Although the "R U OK" program has been around for over ten years, the Alpine Police Department wants to remind the community that the program is there to use.
"We're just trying to get the word out to the community just so that more people are aware that we do this program and it is free of charge. It's just something that the police department wants to do to help the community," King said.