NEWPORT—A unique program designed to serve the needs of Cocke County’s older citizens is being organized, and volunteers are needed.

SCAN (Senior Citizens Awareness Network) is a program developed by the Knox County Sheriff‘s Office as a partnership between county residents and the law enforcement community.

“Public service organizations have come to realize that the older citizens of our community represent both a valuable community resource and unique constituency with very specific needs,” said Carlene Robinson, Director of the Cocke County Office on Aging.

“SCAN strives to provide an opportunity for citizens to become involved in public service while helping meet the needs of this growing population,” Robinson continued.

“SCAN officers are uniformed representatives of the Sheriff’s office,” she added, “but SCAN volunteers go into the community to check on the safety and security of our older citizens who have enrolled in the program. The officers drive to the homes of these citizens to make personal contact, provide home security surveys, deliver crime prevention information, and provide agency referrals.”

“The SCAN volunteers,” Robinson explained, “will assist local law enforcement personnel as community-based partners by reporting crime and emergency situations to E-911.”

Said Robinson, “Effective law enforcement programs require the concern, active participation, and cooperation of citizens to succeed. No matter how well a law enforcement agency may be organized, equipped, or motivated, it cannot function effectively without the cooperation and involvement of citizens such as SCAN volunteers.”

Volunteers are needed for the Cocke County SCAN partnership. To become a Cocke County volunteer, contact the Knox County Sheriff’s office for an application. All applicants must be 21 years old, complete an application process (that includes a background check, an interview, and a training course). A driver’s history check is also required.

“We are in the process of recruiting new SCAN volunteers,” Robinson said. “If you or someone you know is interested in volunteering for SCAN, call 865-215-5627. The first class will be Monday, Feb. 25. Later classes will be held Tuesday, Feb. 26, and Thursday, Feb. 28, plus March 4, 5, and 7.”

For help in getting a SCAN application and to arrange for the upcoming training, call the Cocke County Office on Aging at 423-623-7296, extension 4.

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