Acting as middlemen between the services that help seniors and the seniors who need them, the Senior Police Partners have been assisting the elderly, evaluating their needs and referring them to resources since 1995.
Having played a vital role in the city for so long, the program has become a prestigious part of the Long Beach Police Department’s volunteer force.
“We’re simply a bunch of folks who want to give back and focus on making a positive difference,” Tom Leary, LBPD Volunteer Coordinator, said. “But we’re respected and thought of as family by the department because of the crucial services we provide.”
The department is currently recruiting applicants for the class of 2018. The program recruits once a year, following a procedure similar to the process that police use to recruit sworn officers.
“It’s pretty intensive to ensure we have qualified candidates who can perform the duties and services expected,” Leary said, adding that candidates are expected to be empathetic, non-judgemental and team players.
“I’m looking for those who are willing to go above and beyond to help their city,” Leary said.
Candidates undergo a background check and 40-hour training academy. Upon completion, the new recruits receive shiny gold badges at a ceremony with Police Chief Robert Luna. Last year’s recruits will gather for the ceremony on Aug. 24.
Each year, the team comprised of 24 senior citizens donates over 5,000 hours in its quest to help hundreds of other senior citizens throughout Long Beach.
“We could be helping your next-door neighbor, your father or your best friend,” Leary said.
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