The Town of Bedford has experienced significant growth in the number of residents over age 60. Senior citizens have public safety concerns which differ from other segments of the population. The Bedford Police Department identified a need to identify and provide for the concerns, problems and service needs of older adults. The goal of the Senior Liaison position is to reduce the fear of crime through awareness and education and to help provide quality police service to our older adult population. The Bedford Police Department is committed to providing these public safety services.
Officer Kristen Dineen works directly with the Bedford Council of Aging and the Bedford Fire Department to form a TRIAD of security for the senior population. This TRIAD offers the sharing of information of seniors in need, local scams, financial exploitation risks, self-neglect, neglect or abuse by others and safe at home concerns.
Officer Dineen offers the knowledge of working with additional outside agencies for support to offer information and guidance to the families of seniors, seniors themselves or concerned friends and neighbors. As Law Enforcement personnel, we are required to file mandated reports for any suspected self-neglect or neglect/abuse by others (M.G.L. c. 19A, s. 15). These reports are followed and monitored and information shared to ensure the safety of the senior population and others.
Some additional programs are the File of Life, E-911 Disability Database, Wanderer/Alzheimer’s alert, Safe at Home inspections and programs, Police lectures, classes and informal conversations are held at the COA frequently. A satellite office is located for Officer Dineen at the Bedford Council of Aging for easy access and approach for seniors and family members.