WISH Program now being expanded
In 2006, former Lincoln County Sheriff Dan Torres started the “Welcoming in Senior Helpers” (WISH) program as a way to incorporate the skills and expertise of senior citizens into the Sheriff’s Office.
The WISH program gives seniors a greater insight into the day to day operations while helping to enhance the Sheriff’s Office.
In June of this year, Lincoln County Sheriff John Cottle began modernizing and implementing a paperless records division, where he is utilizing seniors from the program to help convert from the old system to the new system. In the past, police reports and other documentation were once printed and placed in folders for safe keeping. Now, they are scanned and held in a secure server.
“We knew this process was going to be a large undertaking but it only makes sense in the day we live in,” said Sheriff Cottle. “Our seniors in Lincoln County are extremely skilled and can help us achieve our paperless goal.”
In other news regarding the WISH Program, Sheriff Cottle would like to publically thank Robert Coleman for seven-years of volunteer work at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. Coleman applied under the Sheriff’s WISH Program in 2006.
“Mr. Coleman has not missed many Tuesdays in the past seven-years,” said Sheriff Cottle. “He plays an essential role processing our Racial Profiling cards into the database and his work is greatly appreciated.”
When asked about his data processing skills, Coleman attributes it to his U.S. Service days. He was drafted in the Army in the 1950’s and served in the Army Occupation of Germany for two-years.
“The Army went through each soldier’s file looking for unique skills and when they came across mine, they saw I learned how to type in high school,” said Coleman.
Coleman plucked for special assignments and quickly moved through the ranks all of which he attributes to learning how to type in high school. Today, Coleman spends eight-hours every Tuesday at the Sheriff’s Office donating his time and telling fascinating stories of years past.
“The county and Sheriff’s Office is blessed by the faithful hands of volunteers,” said Sheriff Cottle.
Mr. Coleman also volunteers his time with a local grief support group to help citizens cope with the loss of a spouse.
WISH program volunteers are asked to commit a few hours a week to help with light clerical work.
Lincoln County senior volunteers who participate are treated to lunch on the days they volunteer. The WISH Program is only available to Senior Citizens, 55-years or older, residing in Lincoln County.
Seniors must fill out an application and pass a background check. WISH program applications are found at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office. Any senior resident experiencing transportation issues can call and have an application delivered to their residence by a deputy.
Volunteer applications are also found on the Sheriff’s website, http://lcsdmo.com under the forms section.
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