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SOUTHPORT — The Southport Police Department is partnering with other south side organizations to help senior citizens who need help during a difficult time.
Southport police chief Tom Vaughn said Monday at a news conference the police department will work alongside with Perry Senior Services, Drink At The Well Ministries, local businesses and volunteers to provide essential services for seniors and others who need assistance during the COVID-19 outbreak.
"One of the things that just broke my heart was when the coronavirus started, we saw everybody running to the store and it got us thinking, what about the seniors who can't jump up and run to the store and stand in lines for that long? How can we better serve the community and help with that?" Vaughn said.
Vaughn said Southport police will deliver food as well as provide transportation to doctors appointments and prescription drug pick-ups. He noted many of Perry Senior Services' drivers are senior citizens themselves, and the department wanted to step up to help people in Perry Township and surrounding areas. The service will also provide food and supplies for pets.
Vaughn also said Midwest Food Bank provided food for the program, while Lowe's and Home Depot donated a refrigerator and freezer.
"We decided we wanted to also help with picking up the food items and making sure they had all the food that they needed," Vaughn said. "We've had a big collaboration with a lot of people inside Perry Township. One of the things that being born and raised on the south side that I can tell you is the south side always bands together in times of need and we work well together."
Southport Mayor Jim Cooney said he thinks the service will prove invaluable to people who need it most.
"It will get them the things they need and they won't be exposed to the virus," Cooney said. "I think it's important that we help each other at this critical time."
Vaughn said the department has made four food deliveries since the project began last Wednesday, and officers transported two people to doctor's appointments on Monday before the news conference.
People needing help should call Perry Senior Services at 317-783-9231 or the Southport Police Department assistance line at 463-224-0183. Information can also be found on the Southport Police Department's Facebook page and on Perry Senior Services' website.
"We are here to help anyone," he said. "Whatever we can do to be part of the community and help through this pandemic is what we're looking to do. We're in it for the long haul."
Watch the full news conference below: