Seniors are on patrol in Picayune

Published 4:43 pm Thursday, March 29, 2007

Senior citizens have a place to put their volunteer time to good use while conducting community service.

The Picayune Police Department Senior Patrol gives those citizens a chance to give something back to the community in which they live. While the work is volunteer that status enables them to cut to the chase in their work.

“We don’t have to play politics, we just do what we have to do. Because they can’t dock our pay,” said Senior Patrol member Bob Gieger.

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Members of the senior division try to put in at least 24 hours a month by patrolling the streets or a number of events, division member D.C. Breland said. Gieger said members of the Senior Patrol do whatever they can to help the officers of the Picayune Police Department such as directing traffic and any other duties that will help keep the other officers focused on more important duties. Such duties could include events such as the egg drop, street fair, National Night out Against Crime and escorting funerals.

“We don’t shoot at nobody,” Breland said.

While those patrol members are not equipped with guns they do have the capability to contact any member of the Picayune Police Department via radio and help will be on the way. Those calls are crucial since senior division members do not call dispatch for little things.

“They know when we call we need it,” Gieger said.

Senior Patrol members also have the capacity to write non-moving citations, such as parking violations.

Another member of the Senior Patrol also helps out with some inside duties of the department. Maude Ritchey said she helps with answering the phone and conducting clerical work in the police department. The Senior Patrol is looking to expand their membership with at least ten more members. There are currently eight members in the Senior Patrol.

“It gives me an opportunity to give back, and I appreciate that opportunity,” Ritchey said.

Breland said there is a two month training period involved in joining the Senior Patrol so members will become acquainted with the department’s radio codes.

Anyone interested in joining the Senior Patrol can do so by calling Lisa Jones at 601-798-0374.