ALTON, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Alton Police Department implemented a new program geared toward ensuring the senior community is safe.

The “R U OK?” program was started after researching a way to enhance Alton’s senior community, according to Alton’s police chief and assistant city manager, Jonathan Flores.

“We wanted to make sure that their families know that somebody is going to be checking on them, you know, once a week,” Flores said.

He explained that the weekly phone call allows them to check in and keep connected with the community and ensures the well-being of their registered seniors.

“The last thing that we want is for one of our elderly in our community to fall down or to be incapacitated, or worse, and then go several days or weeks without someone checking on them,” he said.

He explained that people can register through an online form or at the Alton Police Department in order to participate in the program.

“You’re simply going to get a call from one of our dispatchers that’s going to ask you, they’re going to identify themselves as a city of Alton employee, and they’re going to ask you if you’re doing okay, and that will be the extent of it, we will have all your information that we need on the registration form. So, we will not ask you for any personal identifying information or anything like that,” Flores said.

He said an in-person visit by a police officer will occur if the registered senior or their emergency contact does not answer.

“If they need any kind of service and they voice that, then we will see what level of response is appropriate and get them the help that they need,” Flores said.

He said since the announcement of the program less than a week ago, 30 community seniors have registered for the program.

Flores said the “R U OK?” program could be beneficial to any community that participates.

“Here for our community, Alton, this certainly does bridge a gap, it’s certainly something beneficial, something that our residents didn’t have, that they will now have, it’s a free service. And we encourage them to take full advantage of that,” he said.

The “R U OK?” registration form can be found here.