911 emergency phones are finally here

Published 12:16 am Sunday, August 12, 2007

The long-awaited cell phones have arrived. Seven months ago, TRIAD sponsored a cell phone donation drive to collect old cell phones around the community. Over 190 phones were collected and sent to RMS Communications in Ocala, Fla., to be reprogrammed and set to 911 capacity only.

In an effort to assist senior citizens in their homes or away from their homes, 911 cell phones will be distributed to anybody over 50 years of age who desires a free cell phone. They cannot be used for any purpose other than to contact the police or sheriff’s office by dialing 911 only. Those seniors who cannot afford a cell phone and would like to pick up a phone, contact the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program office at the senior center at 601-442-5082, or come by the RSVP office on the second floor. My secretary and I will give instructions on how to operate the phone.

TRIAD is comprised of three agencies: the Natchez Police Department, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and RSVP (The), which is entering its 10th year of operation. Unfortunately, our senior citizens are the prime target for elder abuse, frauds and scams, and identity theft. So in 1997 TRIAD and the S.A.L.T. Council was formed to educate senior citizens about fraud and scams, identity theft, elder abuse, safety in the home, and how to protect themselves away from the home.

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If your senior group, civic organization, or church group would like TRIAD to speak on the above topics, including drug awareness and Alzheimer’s awareness, feel free to contact me at the RSVP office. Education is the key to preventing crime among the senior population.

If you have a cell phone you wish to donate to a senior citizen, bring the phone to the senior center,located at 800 Washington St., second floor, RSVP office. The cell phone collection boxes are also placed at the police station, sheriff’s office, and Citgo gas station on Mississippi 61 South.

The project will continue as long as the community donates their old cell phones.

If you are over 50 years of age and interested in picking up a free 911 cell phone, come by the office and one will be given to you with instructions on its use.

Janet McNeely is the director of the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program.