Medford, Ore.– A recent uptick in crime near the Medford Senior Center has peaked the interest of a local group. Starting Wednesday, the Jackson County Police Scanner Group on Facebook sent volunteers to keep an eye on the property, hoping to offer piece of mind to folks at the center.
George Stewart has volunteered at the Medford Senior Center for a year. He says he most enjoys connecting with seniors who use the facility.
“Making them comfortable,” says Stewart. “Talking with them and joking with them.”
Three days a week he serves folks refreshments and a smile, and while Stewart keeps an eye on coffee cups that need refilling, other watchful eyes sweep the outside of the building.
“Seniors tend to be targets,” says Ryan Mallory, a Medford Senior Center board member and an admin on the Jackson County Police Scanner Group Page on Facebook. He says in the past few months the center has fallen victim to crime.
“There was an office manager’s purse stolen. There was a members purse stolen and there was a car that was broken into,” Mallory explains.
All things Mallory believes can be prevented in the future with a little extra security. Using the Scanner Group’s Facebook page, Mallory put out a call to action, asking community members to step up and volunteer their time to walk the property.
Mike Moore, a member of the page spent his morning doing just that.
“We want the senior citizens to know they can come to their place without being bothered,” Moore says.
Jon Grimes also heeded the call, enlisting his sidekick Riley the German Shepard to join in on the safety efforts.
“He [Riley] is intimidating, that’s about it.”
Grimes says he hopes to alleviate any worry at the center.
“I used to be a caregiver and you know it’s just awful that people prey on the elderly.”
“Some of these people in there don’t have anybody,” adds Moore. “To have somebody a little younger walk up to them and say ‘How are you, can I walk to your car with you?’, you know, get to know them.”