In an emergency, every second counts.
To help maximize every second possible in cases of an emergency, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office has partnered with the Seniors and Lawmen Working Together (SALT) Council in a parish-wide home identification program.
Cpl. James Grimaldi is the current chairman for the TRIAD committee, which is managed by the SALT board. He said the purpose of the home identification campaign is to assist St. Charles Parish residents in properly identifying their home so that first responders can locate them quickly in the event of an emergency.
With consent, Grimaldi said, an officer will visit a residence and place reflective, adhesive numbers and letters on the home or mailbox at no charge to the resident.
Although the program has always been in existence, Grimaldi said when Capt. Renee Kinler recently took over the special services division of the department she decided to rev up communication efforts to make sure people were aware of the service.
“It is extremely hard, if not impossible, to locate some houses at night on dark streets,” Grimaldi said. “Our goal is, by working with deputies and people in the community, to send a deputy over to talk to them senior community people unable to correct the numbering.”
The St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office’s TRIAD/SALT program is comprised of three branches:
concerned citizens, sheriff’s office representatives and the St. Charles Council on Aging and Home Health Agencies.
Grimaldi said the entities come together in a united effort to protect and assist the elderly of the community. The program is designed to promote the prevention of crime and to assist victims of crime through cooperative education, mutual awareness and participation by SALT.
Sheriff Greg Champagne and Richard Keller created the TRIAD program in 1997.
“We have a growing elderly population in St. Charles Parish, so meeting the needs of these people is a big challenge for law enforcement and community agencies,” Champagne said at the time. “TRIAD is a national concept operating under the belief that together – with sheriffs, police chiefs and seniors globally joining forces – better programs and services can be provided to the elderly.”
Grimaldi said the program gives members an opportunity to meet once and month and voice concern about senior-related concerns in the community, such as the numbering on the homes.
“It’s invaluable for the sheriff’s office,” Grimaldi said of the information provided at the meetings. “It provides great information about what’s going on in the community and their neighborhoods. We get a lot of feedback about what the senior citizens experience and that is very beneficial for parish government and the sheriff’s office.”
Grimaldi said the program, funded by United Way of St. Charles, gives senior residents social opportunities as well as a place to have their voices heard.
For more information on the Triad program, or to request the home numbering service, call the Special Services Division at 985-783-1355 and ask for Corporal Lonnie Senior or Susie Gauthier.