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TRIAD program to protect seniors

Posted on Wednesday, September 11, 2013 at 11:06 am

Westmoreland County residents and law enforcement agencies are joining forces to reduce crimes against senior citizens by establishing a TRIAD organization.

TRIAD is a national organization that helps seniors to increase their awareness of fraud and scams that target them.

“I’m just hoping it will be a successful organization in meeting the needs of senior citizens in Westmoreland County,” said Leslie Ravenell, a retired federal worker who was named the chapter’s chairperson.

Meetings will be held every third Wednesday of the month at the Montross Rescue Squad Building at 10 a.m.

“The common goal is to educate our growing population of senior citizens…to not be a victim of crime,” said Chief Bill Seay of the Colonial Beach Police Department.

“Once I was made aware I certainly agreed to be a part of it,” Seay said, after being invited by Westmoreland County Sheriff C.O. Balderson.

Forming the proposed organization is something that has been a larger desire for the public and the sheriff.

“I’m just excited to partner with the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, seniors citizens and law enforcement officers because I see it as a great benefit to our seniors,” Balderson said.

“Seniors are too often easy targets for criminals and I am looking forward to the work the group will do to educate and protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Julia Sichol, Westmoreland County Commonwealth Attorney.

Balderson said TRIAD will give other organizations such as civic groups and churches an opportunity to exchange feedback and suggestions. The program has been well received by the public, said Balderson.

A signing ceremony establishing a Westmoreland County TRIAD organization will be held on Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. at the A.T. Johnson building in Montross.

Last June, both the police department and sheriff’s office took another course of joining forces and merged their dispatch offices to Montross where law enforcement and emergency services are contacted, led by dispatch unit supervisor Mark Bryant.

Bryant said he currently has 17 members on staff including part-time and full-time personnel monitoring the airwaves 24 hours seven days a week.

For non-emergency calls, the police department can now be reached at 804-224-7612 and the anonymous tip line is 804-224-2273.