Seniors Help Prevent Crime

03.26.09 | Debbie Fero

Nan Hammes of TRIAD gave an educational presentation at one of Family Life's recent Seniors Luncheons. TRIAD is a community policing initiative between seniors, law enforcement, and service providers to increase saftey through education and crime prevention programs. It has been in existence in Steuben County since February of 1999.

Nan explained to the group about many of the programs and services that are sponsored by Steuben County's TRIAD. Services like the Emergency Blue Light Project, the 9-1-1 Cell Phone Project and Home Security Checks. Another big topic of discussion was how to prevent identity theft.

The Emergency Blue Light Project is available to Steuben County residents who are 60 years of age or older (younger residents with diagnosed disabilities may also participate). The flashing blue light will enable emergency responders or law enforcement to readily identify your home. Seniors or eligible residents can contact your local Office for the Aging or your town or city clerk to receive one.

The 9-1-1 Cell Phone Project is available to Steuben County residents 60 years of age or older, and victims of domestic violence. Free cell phones can be used to access 911 in case of emergency. Contact the Office for Aging to request a free phone.

The Home Security Checks are available to Stueben County residents who are 60 years of age or older. Law enforcement personnel will inspect your home and point out potential security issues. You can contact the Sheriff's Department at 1-800-724-7777 to arrange an appointment.

When it comes to identity theft, Nan gave several suggestions on how to prevent it from happening to you. Here are some of them:

Do not give out personal information over the phone, through the mail or over the    Internet unless you have initiated the contact or know whom you are dealing with.

Shred all documents, including pre-approved credit applications received in your name, insurance forms, bank checks and statement you are discarding, and other financial information.

Keep a list of all credit card account numbers; expiration dates and customer service phone numbers in a secure place so that you can quickly contact your creditors incase your cards are lost or stolen.

Monitor your credit reports annually or more frequently if you suspect a problem.

For more information about TRIAD of Steuben County, NY you can call the local Office for Aging at 607-776-7813 or check out their website.