In Panola County, Triad is sponsored by the Panola County Sheriff’s Department and the Batesville, Sardis and Como police dept’s. Triad meetings provide senior citizens with information and a connection to agencies.
The Triad brings together law enforcement representatives and senior citizens in monthly meetings that rotate among locations in Batesville, Sardis and Como.
Between 80 and 100 senior citizens attended the monthly meeting of the organization which works “together to improve the quality of life for all senior adults of Panola County through enhanced communication between seniors, concerned individuals and agencies that serve them,” according to its mission statement.
Monthly Triad meetings are held each third Thursday of the month.
Triad is sponsored nationally by three organizations — the National Sheriffs’ Association, the International Association of Chiefs of Police and the American Association of Retired People — to reduce crime against the elderly.
Triad is in its twenty-second year of reducing criminal victimization of older persons; improving quality of life for older adults; educating and involving the community in implementing solutions; and enhancingdelivery of law enforcementservices to the elderly.
Dot Watson (right) distributes literature to senior citizens at a recent Triad meeting at the First Baptist Church in Batesville.
The Makeup of Triad
Triad is a national community policing initiative wherein law enforcement professionals, seniors, and community groups partner to meet the crime-safety needs of seniors.
Triad has only two goals:
To reduce crimes against the elderly, and to reduce the unwarranted fear of crime that seniors often experience.
The process of forming a Triad should entail:
- Signing a formal agreement to partner in which the leadership of community agencies and organizations agree to work together to keep the elderly safe.
- A signing ceremony or kickoff, in which the community is made aware of the initiative.
- Establishing a SALT Council (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together, SALT) to carry out programs and activities
- Staffing and organizing the SALT Council by:
~ Identifying 10-20 representatives who are willing and able to attend meetings,
conduct activities and manage the council.
~ Selecting council leadership, e.g. chairperson, secretary, etc.
~ Adopting by-laws and/or other rules of order
~ Conducting a survey to ascertain senior’s crime-safety needs.
Triad is a concept of partnership. It is not an acronym; rather it represents a group of three: law enforcement, seniors or senior organizations, and community. The Triad agreement, or signing, is a conceptual agreement by community leaders to work together for, and with, seniors.
The SALT Council is an included part of Triad. It is the operations arm, the functioning piece where the ideas, initiatives and activities are put into action.A local Triad, through its SALT Council, and based on NATI programs, conducts organized programs and activities to meet its objectives. Some examples are: Files of Life, wherein magnetic refrigerator cards are distributed to the elderly that capture information for use i n case of emergencies; educational
talks given to senior groups on crime prevention, scams and schemes, or personal safety; senior visitations or adopt-a-senior; and inter-generational programs, to name a few.
Forming a Triad in a community has many benefits, among them, it:
- Opens communication between public safety personnel and the elderly
- Allows seniors to voice their concerns about crime and safety
- Provides an avenue for active senior volunteers to help others
- Reduces senior isolation, a contributing factor to senior victimization
- Strengthens the ties amongst community groups
- Builds a sense of community, and
- Expands law enforcement personnel capabilities within the community.