Ben Hill Co. sheriff's office checks on senior citizens daily - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Ben Hill Co. sheriff's office checks on senior citizens daily

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) –The Sheriff in Ben Hill County has his eye on another group of people besides those breaking the law. He keeps a special watch on the senior citizens. For three years, the office has had workers dedicated just to that job. Now they are calling almost 100 senior citizens a day.

Sheriff Bobby McLemore says when he was elected Sheriff he planned on taking special care of the senior citizens in his county. He says many elderly people in the county are living alone and if something happened help could be delayed. He says thanks to a federal grant his dream came true.

For three years Hattie Stanley has been working at the Ben Hill County Sheriff's Office. But she doesn't investigate crimes or track down drug dealers. She calls senior citizens. "I call them to see if they are okay," said Stanley.

Its called "Project Senior Call" and its something Sheriff Bobby McLemore started to make sure senior citizens in the county got the help they needed. "We call everyday, and if they don't answer the phone and they haven't called us to tell us they are out of town, I'm sending a deputy by and we are checking on these people," said the Sheriff.

That means, seven days a week close to 90 senior citizens in the county are called. Hattie says she considers every one of those 90 people her friend. They consider her to be their friend, too. "We always hug each other when we see each other," said Jeanette Richartz.

Jeanette Richartz has been getting calls from Hattie for three years now."I thought it was real nice to have someone check on you," she said.

It's a phone call she's grown to expect. "When it says unknown I know its her calling me," she said.

McLemore says as long as he stays Sheriff, he will continue this program because he says there is no better way to protect and serve the community.

If you know someone in Ben Hill County who needs to be on that list call the sheriff's office at (229) 426-5160

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