Hewitt launches new program to check on welfare of community members

Published: Jul. 29, 2022 at 4:33 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) -Hewitt police have launched a new program to put an emphasis on the safety of our elderly or people who live alone.

The Hewitt Police Department said they responded to more than 300 calls last year for welfare checks and they noticed there was a need to be proactive in protecting their community.

“Sometime last year, we had had a citizen move here from out of state and asked if we had a program such as the ‘R U OK program’,” Police Chief Jim Devlin said.

After that call, the department began researching. The R U OK program allows anyone to sign up for a loved one to be called at a specific time of day to make sure they are doing well. If they don’t answer the phone after two times, police are dispatched out.

“The worst thing that can happen is we have an individual who falls down and is on the floor for two days,” Chief Devlin said. “This type of program would help eliminate that time where if it happened one day where they don’t answer the phone, law enforcement is going to go out and try to make contact with them.”

The people signed up would no longer be waiting for help and for one Hewitt resident with no family in the state, that’s why she signed up for herself.

“I have a sister in California and my son is in Tennessee but no family here,” Barbara Mayberry said. “I thought what if I died? How long would I be here and nobody would know I was here?”

Mayberry says she signed up to be checked on 6 days a week and it helps her feel more secure.

“I was just getting ready to do that “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” program when I saw this,” she said.

Signing up is as simple as going online.

“We have more people signing up every day,” Chief Devlin said. “It could be something as simple as they went to the doctor but we also hope it will also find if somebody is hurt or injured or anything these folks might need.”

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