Anaheim Police Department volunteers help protect seniors and homes while residents are out of town

ANAHEIM, Calif. (KABC) — The Anaheim Police Department has volunteer programs that help keep seniors safe and their homes protected while residents are out of town.

For example, volunteers like Alice O’Keefe and Frank Lansner spend much of their free time as part of the Police Department’s Vacation House Check and You Are Not Alone (YANA) programs.

Beverly allowed Eyewitness News into her home during one of the visits. She said she was used to seeing a few volunteers weekly.

“I’ve made it a part of my life that they’re going to be here on Wednesday,” Beverly said, adding that the presence of the volunteers gave her some company and peace of mind.

“I look forward to her coming,” she said.

“They are her lifeline to the community,” O’Keefe said. “They rely on people to come to their homes for their social interaction.”

Beverly said, “I’m not sick or I don’t need them that much. But they leave a feeling that if I did, I could.”

The year-round programs are free, and the 60 enrolled volunteers leave sworn officers open to make crime-related calls.

Senior Crime Prevention Specialist and Volunteer Coordinator Rocio Burress said these checks on the outside of properties could even prevent break-ins.

“We’ve never had anyone burgled while on holiday and our volunteers are supervising and patrolling the area. We usually have many, many regular customers, so I guess with that everyone is happy about the volunteers that come by,” Burress said.

O’Keefe and Lansner said they’ve had a good time giving back to their communities.

“We would appreciate more volunteers,” Lansner said. “It’s a nice program. It’s a way of giving something back to the city. Anaheim is a great city and you get to see a lot of the city while doing it.”

Anyone who would like to sign up for a home or senior citizen check-up or volunteer for these programs can do so at the Anaheim Police Department website or call the agency at (714) 765-1918.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. Anaheim Police Department volunteers help protect seniors and homes while residents are out of town

Laura Coffey

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