Senior citizens and law enforcement officers join to keep members informed

Sunday, December 4, 2011
SALT sponsors a law enforcement memorial that occurs every year in May. (Cheryl Ellis ~ Submitted photo)

Seniors and Lawmen Together of Cape Girardeau County is an organization created to bring senior citizens and law enforcement officers together to build relationships.

SALT sponsors three major events throughout the year for senior citizens -- a law enforcement memorial in May, an information day during the summer and a Christmas event during the Christmas season.

The law enforcement memorial "is a time to remember and pay tribute to officers who lost their life in the line of duty," said Cheryl Ellis, committee member.

The group invites the families of the officers to this event. There are poetry contests, essay contests and coloring contests sponsored by the Southeast Missourian that goes along with this event. The winners get to attend and read their pieces.

In the summer, SALT offers an information/celebration day. They have vendors and speakers relating to senior issues. SALT also offers educational programs on topics of interest to the senior citizen, such as identity theft.

With the holidays just around the corner, SALT will hold its annual Christmas party from 4 to 7 p.m. Dec. 15. The event will be held at the Cape Girardeau Eagles No. 3775, 321 N. Spring St.

There will be bus transportation provided from Jackson for those not wanting to provide their own transportation. There will also be a shuttle from the Cape Girardeau Senior Center for those who want to park there instead of driving to the Eagles Lodge.

"Southeast Hospital will be providing cookies, punch and coffee at the event. There will be door prizes and each senior will receive a stocking full of donated items," Ellis said.

In the past the entertainment for the party was local people or groups. Thanks to donations, this year's entertainment will be David "The Mayberry Deputy" Browning. Browning is an impersonator, improvisational master and speaker. Using audience participation, costuming, facial expressions and gestures Browning provides an atmosphere of good, clean fun.

This event is open to seniors 55 or older and is free of charge. There is a limit of 300 attendees. Senior citizens can sign up for the event at the senior centers in both Cape Girardeau and Jackson or at the Area Agency on Aging.

Right, David "The Mayberry Deputy" Browning will be providing the entertainment in this year's SALT annual senior Christmas party.

"SALT was developed many years ago to establish better relationships between seniors and law enforcement," said Captain Roger Fields of the Cape Girardeau Police Department, who is the head of the group. "It seemed crimes were committed against the senior citizens or they saw something happening and they thought they were a burden if they reported it. So they wanted to open up the lines of communication."

"SALT is a way to help relationships grow, to address needs and to help the seniors feel comfortable dealing with law enforcement," said Ellis.

The SALT committee is made up of Cape Girardeau County Sheriff John Jordan, Capt. Roger Fields of the Cape Girardeau Police Department, Capt. Jamie Humphries of the Jackson Police Department, Ellis, some senior citizens and representatives from senior organizations in the area.

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