Senior citizens connect with law enforcement at 9th annual holiday luncheon

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Pitt County law enforcement agencies are getting in the holiday spirit! 

Greenville police officers, and Pitt County sheriff’s deputies, were serving the senior citizens of Pitt County at the Drew Steele Center.

Franchine Philpotpeña is the vice-chair to the City of Greenville Human Relations Council.

She says, “The food is important because we know that unfortunately in this day and time sometimes they are on a fixed income and it’s either medicine or it’s food and so to be able to offer them this hot meal again is just instrumental to their well being.”

Greenville Mayor P.j. Connelly made an appearance at the event.

This event highlights why it’s important for law enforcement to mingle with different communities in the area.  

“For police officers to reconnect and re-engage with the seniors and realize there’s a whole other layer of our community out there that we don’t really get to interact with a lot, it is a great reminder for them,” says Chief of Police Mark Holtzman.

These connections can help the elderly in Pitt County to feel more comfortable reaching out when they might need assistance. 

“Our elderly are the most vulnerable I see it as well as children and so if they’re here, talk and mix with them they see them in a good and safe environment which may be able to encourage them, were they in trouble, to call on them for some help,” says Philpotpeña.

Some senior citizens might be alone during the holidays, which can bring on seasonal depression, having events like this gives them the chance to get out and about and do something different. 

Allie Hardy is a senior citizen who lives in Pitt County and she shares how she feels about the holiday luncheon.

“Well, I’m glad the city recognizes us as senior citizens. Being here with all the other folks is like having a party,” Hardy says.

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