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The Cottonwood Shores Police Department plans to introduce a telephone reassurance system designed to monitor elderly and disabled residents in need of welfare checks.

Residents enrolled in the program, which launches the week of Oct. 31, will receive daily automated phone calls at the time of their choosing. If users fail to answer the call after a preset number of times, an alert will be sent to the police department, prompting officers to check on the resident in person.

Known as “Are You OK?”, the program is used in cities across the state. It is financed through funds allotted by Cottonwood Shores’ Crime Prevention and Control District in July.

“This program has been on my mind for over a year,” Police Chief Johnny Liendo said. “Different agencies use it throughout the state. I’m glad we’re going to be able to use it.”

While the program is designed for seniors, Liendo said registration also will be open to the disabled.

“We already do welfare checks on certain folks, but this way, we’ll know who they all are,” he said. “We’ll have an inventory of all our seniors and their contact information and be able to check a lot better than we do now.”

To register, applicants will need to fill out a brief one-page form and deliver it to the police department. Applications will ask whether the person can walk, has pets, and if keys are on the premises along with emergency contact information and a medical history. Applications for the program are at the police department, 3807 Cottonwood Drive, and City Hall, 3808 Cottonwood Drive.

If you’re unable to leave your home, call 830-693-1410 and an officer will deliver the application to your doorstep.

“We could get two people, we could get 20 people,” Liendo said. “You never know about these things. Either way, it’ll be worth it.”

nathan@thepicayune.com