Hatteberg's People - Senior Patrol

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On Hatteberg's People, a group of older Kansas citizens are making a big difference in law enforcement in some Kansas counties.

Called Senior Patrol, these older Kansas citizens volunteer their work through Sheriff's offices and police departments checking homes and highways, so that regular officers can use their time investigating crimes.

"Well, we enjoy it. We get to see the county."

Garry Gray and Jim Vaughn are part of the Harvey County Sheriff's Senior Patrol.

"What the good part is, is that I have a group of people that give their time, they are volunteers, they go out in the county and they do house checks and they check on some people who may be home-bound. They are out there as an extra set of eyes and ears for me."

"You know when you are working full-time and stuff, you really don't have time to do much volunteer work, or I didn't, then once you retire I wanted to start paying back and I had time to do it."

"They don't want to just be sitting around. They want to be doing something and there is a wealth of experience that these people have. And they have come out and they provide a service to the county."

"Is everybody aware that we now have some new decals available for the cars?"

Once a month, they have a meeting at the Harvey County Law Enforcement Center to brush up on procedure, initiate new members, and to get the latest information about their work. But it is away from the office and out on the road where they shine.

"We'll get a list of people who are on vacation and we call them house checks."

"You want to get the front door and I'll check around back."

"When they are out on Patrol, they'll go by that house and make sure everything is ok. They will check windows and doors and make sure everything is shut. If there is anything suspicious, they'll stand off and then they will call in a deputy to come in."

"Everything else looks pretty clean."

"It takes off a massive load of work for my deputies plus there is no possible way we could cover all of these homes and check all of these roads like these people do."

"You get to see a lot of the people….hey, there is the Sheriff right there."

"Oh I just like the camaraderie with the other people. I like going out and seeing the country, like a while ago when we ran into that flock of several hundred turkeys."

And that is part of the pay to these volunteers, seeing a bit of nature…..but more important providing a service to the community that doesn't raise taxes.

"We're paying back the community."

In 2009, the Senior Patrol logged over 25,000 miles checking Harvey County roads and homes.

"It's a great, great program."

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