Newton PD host Annual Senior Luncheon

Kate Wimberly
Staff Writer

On Tuesday, December 10th, Newton Police Department hosted their Annual Senior Luncheon.

With its conception over twenty-seven years ago, the Annual Senior Luncheon has become a staple in our community. The luncheon hosts an average of fifteen to twenty seniors in the Newton area that belong to Newton Police Department’s call list. Through this program, seniors are invited to call Newton PD every morning to check-in in order to verify their safety and well-being. If personnel do not hear from a member of this list by a specified time, an officer is dispatched to their home to ensure their wellness. 

Chief Vidal Sipe and Major Tim Hayes of the Newton Police Department shared sentiments of appreciation for the wisdom and life-experience of each senior in our community. 

“It is a privilege to serve these folks,” stated Major Hayes. “They have given so much to the community.”

Major Hayes also shared that during Thanksgiving, the seniors involved in the program receive a boxed lunch hand-delivered by personnel from Newton PD. Individuals in attendance were able to share a meal provided by Western Steer, enjoy live music, and a word from Reverend Thompson, a retired pastor from Calvary Baptist Church.

“If I could go back in time as a young pastor, I would make a way to each of your homes to soak up the knowledge you have to offer our community,” shared Reverend Thompson.

For many of the seniors in attendance, this event marks the start of the holiday season. Attendees discussed their plans for the holidays and updated each other on life happenings. While the call list is designed as a daily check-in for seniors living alone without family close-by, it also allows officers and staff to get to know residents personally in their community. The relationships that develop from this program help officers to better serve residents by providing the daily check-in and being able to tell if an issue is developing.

“We recognize issues that might go unattended and unrecognized otherwise,” Major Hayes explained.

“It lets the seniors know that someone cares about them,” added Tammy Curtis, Newton Police Department Records Specialist. “We care about them and if they need help we’ll do the best we can to take care of them. It gives them someone to talk to. Sometimes we might be the only people they speak to in a day.”

Seniors living in Newton that are interested in signing up for this program, or have questions, can call 828-465-7430 for more information. There are currently around fifteen residents using this service.

This program provides a daily safeguard but also a friendly reminder that they are cared for and someone is looking out for them.