GREENSBORO, N.C. — According to the Census, nearly one-third of all seniors live by themselves. That's close to 14 million people.
Of those 14 million, some may have mobility issues, which can pose a challenge when it comes to responding quickly to 911 calls.
It's that challenge that Greensboro police and its community outreach team wanted to fix.
Former Interim Police Chief, Teresa Biffle, implemented this Blue Angel Program.
This program is for people who are 55 and older, live alone, are home alone on a frequent basis, or residents who have serious medical conditions.
The program allows first responders quick access to a home in the event of an emergency if the resident is unable to open their door.
It's done through a lockbox system. It's similar to those used by real estate agents.
It will be installed by an officer on the outside of the resident’s home. A house key will be put inside the lock box and the access code will only be available to emergency personnel in the event of an emergency.
The access code will be stored securely at all times within the Guilford Metro 911 Communication Center.
Greensboro Police Department Community Engagement Assistant Director, Kate Sigmon, said it was a need they noticed in the community.
"Former Interim Chief Biffle and community engagement just did, in conversations with the community, realized this was a concern for residents," said Sigmon. "I believe there were prior situations where there were forced entries if someone has a medical condition or has been injured, and emergency responders haven't had been delayed and accessing it or had to do a forced entry to get into the residence. And so, knowing this, this was a concern is sort of where this whole program started."
To apply, you can find the application on the Greensboro Police Department's website.