EUGENE, Ore. — While spring break has patrol units paying extra attention to areas near campus, Seniors on Patrol work year round to make sure neighborhoods stay safe with their vacation check program.
“It’s just a great way to partner with our senior community and really get some extra eyes and ears in the community for us,” said Debbie Janecek, Program Manager.
What started as just a small group of eight has doubled since 2001.
“Eleven years later, I’m still involved,” said Pat Kehoe, SOP Volunteer.
Seventy-year-old Kehoe has been a Senior on Patrol since the beginning.
“It’s proliferated. I mean, it started with a few places, and now we’ve got quite a few on our plate. So hopefully us geezers (laugh) can only hope it’s valuable,” Kehoe said.
He and his partner Paul Colvin patrol the streets of Eugene every week, looking for stolen vehicles and checking in on homes while people are away.
“It’s a certain feeling of satisfaction. And think Paul and I are kind of happy to be doing this, and we just hope it helps,” Kehoe said.
The program’s coordinators say it does help that the volunteers’ work along with the rest of the crime prevention efforts really makes a difference
“They’re a tremendous help, especially right now during spring break…In 2010, our stats went down, and as we continued our efforts, we’ve seen stats look a whole lot better. Years prior look a lot different, and we like to think our efforts are a big part of that,” Janecek said.
Program coordinators say they’re always looking for more volunteers. In fact, they hope to double the number of volunteers that they have now. So if you’re interested, to find out how you can get involved, contact the Eugene Police Department at 541-682-5111 or click here.