Officials, residents applaud new program to protect seniors
The Westmoreland County TRIAD organization is made of several law enforcement representatives and community members. Pictured in the back row, from left, Lt. Ron Webster, Sheriff C.O. Balderson, Chief Bill Seay, Major John Hoover, Sgt. Greg Keyser, Gerald Roane, Wallace McGinniss, Les Sisson; front row, from left, Helen Wilkins, Robin Abercrombie, Jean Braun, Deputy Kim Simon, Julia Sichol, Leslie Ravenell, Juanita Balenger, Director of TRIAD.
The memory of one law enforcement officer could very well live on through a newly established organization.
Two years after the death of Lt. Ron Hundley, Westmoreland County residents signed into place the first TRIAD organization to reduce crime against senior citizens. An advocate for law enforcement safety, Hundley spent a portion of his time training and educating community members as a crime prevention specialist. He was 64 years old when he died in 2011
“He was certainly instrumental in getting us to the standpoint of being involved, but we’ve taken this next step with the TRIAD to hopefully fulfill what he was doing and to progress even further,” said Sheriff C.O. Balderson.
Balderson, Commonwealth Attorney Julia Sichol and community and law enforcement members all signed the official documents declaring Westmoreland
County as the 97th chapter in the state.
Guest speaker Juanita Baldenger, who is the community outreach and TRIAD director, emphasized the importance of crime prevention and wished the new board members well.
“It’s always good to keep in mind that if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” said Baldenger.
Ward Taylor, chairman of the King George TRIAD, said he hopes to build a network with the newest organization.
“We’re side by side. We’re right next to each other and I think we can be a lot of help to one another,” he said.
Recently, Richmond County organized its own chapter of TRIAD. Chief Chris Spare, of the Town of Warsaw Police Department, attended the Westmoreland ceremony.
“There’s an opportunity for some regional efforts that a local one wasn’t able to do by themselves,” said Spare. “Now, we can link up with another TRIAD on a bigger project and that’s the way to go.”
Darryl Fisher, chairman of the Westmoreland County Board of Supervisors, asked the group to “please encourage our entire population to be aware of this TRIAD and be connected.”
The Westmoreland County TRIAD will continue to meet on the third Wednesdays of every month at the Montross Volunteer Rescue Squad Building located at 72 Lyells Street in Montross.