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Insight from WFPD: TRIAD group formed to help safeguard seniors

As 2009 came to a close, I found myself thinking about the past year and some of the different types of calls that I either handled or heard about working for the West Fargo Police Department.

Many of these calls were citizens that had fallen victim to a scam or just someone calling the department to inform us of a new scam that was just attempted. In either case, a noticeable percentage of these calls were from our senior population, a common target for would-be scammers. I want the citizens to be aware of a group that is nationally known and is currently working on helping and educating senior citizens on avoiding falling victim to such con-artists.

TRIAD is a partnership between the local chiefs of police, the sheriffs, and seniors in the community with the main purpose of developing and expanding effective crime prevention and safety education to senior community members.

TRIAD was started in 1988 by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), and the National Sheriff's Association (NSA). All these groups signed and entered into an agreement to work together to reduce victimization and unwarranted fear of crime affecting the senior population. A TRIAD chapter was started in Fargo-Moorhead with monthly board meetings held, trying to come up with new ideas and expand on others in ways to assist the senior population in our local metro area.

One additional way the West Fargo Police Department has implemented is a local "Coffee with a Cop," time set aside each month for officers with the police department to meet with seniors and talk about current events, crime trends, and different things affecting the community. Normally, speakers from different agencies are also brought in to speak and educate the attendees about their own group and what they do in the community. Some guests at our 2009 meetings included those from: the Red River Valley Bomb Squad, Valley Water Rescue, Salvation Army, and a tour was also conducted of the Red River Regional Dispatch Center.

The 2010 meetings will be held at the Sheyenne Crossings facility, located at 225 13th Ave. W., on the third Thursday of every month at 2:30 p.m. Our West Fargo senior residents are encouraged to attend.

Anyone with questions can contact the West Fargo Police Department at 701-433-5500.