PROVIDENCE — Police made a special visit to Cache Valley Assisted Living and Memory Care Thursday afternoon. The officers held a parade, complete with lights and sirens, for the residents who can’t have visitors right now because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Sgt. Bill Barber led the squad of patrol vehicles around the center as police waved to the residents who were seated outside or watching from their room windows. He then delivered a bag of cards and messages to the center’s administrators to hand out to the patients.
“It makes us feel good,” said Barber. “We got the call last week that the facility was concerned about the mental well-being of their residents because they haven’t been able to have visitors. So we ran with it, the PD was willing to let us come out here and show these people that we care and put some smiles on their faces.”
The special visit was organized by 911 dispatch operators, who wanted to do something to commemorate National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.
“Our dispatchers and others at the PD made a bunch of cards in hopes of putting smiles on people’s faces,” explained Barber. “We included suckers and other things that we could give them that were safe.”
The officers were greeted by some of the residents who had created signs to express their thanks and appreciation. Those who were able to watch the parade from outside, cheered and waved as the squad cars paraded by.
Yolanda Thomas, admissions specialist for the center, said she was surprised to how excited the residents were the past week, anticipating Thursday’s parade.
“We thought this was more of a way for the residents to thank the police officers for what they are doing to keep them safe,” Thomas said. “So, it was fun for us to see the police officers but it gave the residents something to work on throughout the week, making posters and signs. I think it was win, win situation.”
Restrictions have prohibited the patients from having visitors since the coronavirus outbreak started. The center’s staff have tried to supplement visits by using technology and other resources.
“It has been hard but we are keeping them engaged with video chats with their family members,” said Thomas. “We are doing parties through their windows. Birthday parties are still happening. So they are doing pretty good.”
Officers stayed in their vehicles because of health precautions but were handed brownies and other treats from staff members after the parade.