New initiative launches to nurture safe environments for seniors

April 18, 2018

New initiative launches to nurture safe environments for seniors 

EDWARDSVILLE — Officials announced an initiative Wednesday morning as a way to improve the quality of life  and safety for seniors across Madison County. 

Madison County Sheriff’s Department held a press conference to launch its program that partners law enforcement with senior citizen service providers and seniors. 

“The new initiative is Madison County Triad,” Lt. Kristopher Tharp with the Sheriff’s Department said. “Although Triad is not new concept, it is new to Madison County.” 

The partnership includes all law enforcement agencies — sheriff’s department, local police and the state’s attorney — along with support and protective services throughout the county. 

Tharp said the partnership is to improve the lives of senior citizens. 

“We want to prevent seniors from becoming victims,” Sheriff John Lakin said. 

Lakin said although the Sheriff’s Department helped spearhead the endeavor it is fueled and driven by all stakeholders. 

Tharp said according the U.S. Census there are 41,000 people 65 years or older who live in Madison County and 30,000 live in a household with someone and 11,000 live alone. 

As summer approaches Lakin said there are those individuals out there looking to scam older adults. He said often times seniors feel embarrassed about being scammed and do not report it. 

“We always hear about the asphalt and construction scammers,” Lakin said. “What we are trying to do is limit the victimization of seniors.” 

Health Department Administrator Toni Corona read the agreement that was signed by herself, Lakin, State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons and more than a dozen senior and support service providers. 

“Because of the aging of the population and the increasing demands being placed on law enforcement agencies to meet the needs of older citizens, it is important that the county’s leading law enforcement agencies devote special attention to the needs of senior citizens,” Corona said. 

She said the sharing of resources is the first step in achieving an effective means of identifying available programs. 

Lakin praised Tharp for taking the lead on the endeavor. Tharp is the president of the SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) Council, which began putting working on the initiative last year. 

Other service provider/stakeholders include:  Southwest Visiting Nurses Association, Mainstreet Community Center in Edwardsville; Centerstone of Alton; St. John’s Community Care of Collinsville; Senior Services Plus of Alton; Edwardsville Township; Granite City Township, Collinsville Township; AARP; Wood River Township Kiwanis; Call for Help, Inc. Alton; Faith Countryside Apartments in Highland; Faith In Action Edwardsville/Glen Carbon; and Faith in Action Collinsville. 

“Our purpose is to heighten awareness,” Tharp said. “We’re not as worried about seniors who can get around, but those who can’t to us.” 

He said the idea is to establish the Sheriff’s Department as a trusted source of information. 

Tharp said that Triad will use social media as a platform to bridge younger and older adults. It will also host “savvy senior seminars” and events, he said. 

Madison County Triad and AARP will host its first event — a shredding event —from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 21 at two locations — Sheriff’s Department, 405 Randle St., Edwardsville, and Senior Services Plus, 2603 N. Rodgers St., Alton. 

Visit Madison County Triad’s website at or call 618-296-2800 to find out more information. Links to Triad’s Twitter and Facebook pages can also be found online.