TOP JOB: Adopt-a-Cop Sgt Julia Henderson with Avalon Aged Care Facility residents and staff.
TOP JOB: Adopt-a-Cop Sgt Julia Henderson with Avalon Aged Care Facility residents and staff. Kristen Booth

PCYC cop adopted by Avalon

RESIDENTS of the Avalon Aged Care Facility in Emerald can now rest easier, thanks to their "adoption” of a local Emerald police officer.

The facility recently welcomed on board branch manager of Emerald PCYC Sergeant Julia Henderson, through the popular Adopt-a-Cop program.

Sgt Henderson said the purpose of the program was to build relationships within the community.

"Typically, they are for schools, however other relevant organisations can have an Adopt-a-Cop,” she said.

"Some of the benefits include enhanced feelings of safety and well-being, increased community satisfaction, as well as education.

"My first job during high school... was in aged care so I am passionate about caring for the seniors of the community.”

Sgt Henderson said she would be a key resource for Avalon residents seeking information and advice, and had been invited to Avalon's residents' meetings.

"I am honoured to have been adopted by Avalon and look forward to getting to know the staff and residents,” she said.

Assistant Integrated Service Manager for Blue Care, which manages the Avalon facility, Dean Dennis, said adopting a cop was suggested by a local senior police officer.

"Blue Care is always looking for ways to improve the integration of our residents into the local community,” he said.

"With the Adopt-a-Cop concept, it provides an avenue for our residents to feel safe and comfortable to discuss any police matters, or even just a friendly chat with someone they know from the police force.”

Mr Dennis said Sgt Henderson was quick to offer her support to the facility.

"I believe the program demonstrates the wonderful commitment the police force have within our community,” he said.

"Many residents in an aged care facility have some difficulties getting out into the community... especially if they wish to do this by themselves.

"One resident who wanted to speak with someone from the police force couldn't get there, so we were able to request our Adopt-a-Cop to come and meet with him.

"It's only in its very early stages, but all feedback from residents has been positive.

"I would encourage any other organisations such as ours to consider this approach.”

For further information about the Adopt-a-Cop program, community members can contact their local police station and ask to speak to the District Crime Prevention Coordinator.


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