Marion's Reassurance Program turns 30

By Georgia Sparling | Sep 27, 2016

Marion — The Marion Police Department’s telephone Reassurance Program turns 30 this October, and it continues to offer seniors a way to feel safe and connected.

With the program, senior citizens call between 6 and 10 a.m. each morning to let police know they are OK. If the department doesn’t receive a call, an officer will call the resident.

“I know there have been a couple of time where someone hasn’t called in, and they’ve been in some sort of medical distress,” said Lt. John Garcia. “There’s no way of telling how long they would have gone unnoticed if we weren’t checking on them.”

Garcia came up with the idea, which was already in practice at his previous job in Chatham, and with former officer and current Selectman Jody Dickerson, they brought the idea to their chief.

Now, there are usually 12 to 15 seniors on the call list, said Garcia.

Seniors who live alone can apply to be part of the program at the police department. The Marion Council on Aging also has applications.

Garcia said the program extends beyond health and wellness checks.

“We develop a relationship with them. Sometimes they’ll mention smaller problems because they feel comfortable speaking with us,” he said.

And at events, such as the Thanksgiving dinner the police host each year, seniors get to put a “face to the voice on the phone.”

Said Garcia: “It’s a pleasant way for them to get to know us.”

For more information, visit or call the police at 508-748-1212.

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