A new program instituted by the Pine Bluff Police Department is checking on senior citizens in two areas of the city.

A new program instituted by the Pine Bluff Police Department is checking on senior citizens in two areas of the city.

Called “R-U-OK,” the program uses AmeriCorps Cadets to call seniors each day, Monday through Friday, beginning at 9 a.m.

“If they don’t get an answer, they will call the person two more times, and if there’s still no answer, they’re going to go and check on that person that morning,” said police Sgt. Hosea Thompson.

Currently, the program is offered in areas where the AmeriCorps cadets are working: Zone 3, which is the Dollarway area, and Zone 5, the Broadmoor area. But Thompson said hopefully, they will be able to expand it to other areas later.

Lt. Bob Rawlinson said the department understands that many senior citizens live alone and may not have family members living in the local area, a fact that generated the idea for creating the program.

“We do not want to replace any contacts with family or friends, we simply are offering an additional source of knowing you are being checked on daily,” Rawlinson said.

Provisions have also been made that will allow seniors who are going to be away from home to contact one of the AmeriCorps Cadets and let them know, so that no calls will be made during the period the seniors are away. When they return, the calls will resume.

Thompson said an additional benefit to that is that when officers know a person will be away from home, those houses will be placed on the “extra patrol” list.

To join the program, seniors will be asked to complete a one-page questionnaire and return it to one of the cadets. That questionnaire will ask for the name of the person, their address, phone number, date of birth, emergency contact information and a brief medical history. Thompson said all the information provided will be kept confidential.

There are currently about 50 people who have signed up for the free service.

For more information on the program, contract Thompson at 730-2078 or Regina Vontunglen at 730-2083.