Kennebunk Police will be making deliveries of 5-gallons buckets filled with sand to senior citizens and disabled folks in town who request them. Lowe’s in Sanford donated the buckets, and two staffers are pictured here with Kennebunk officers Candice Simeoni and Mark Carney and Detective Steve Borst. Courtesy Photo/Town of Kennebunk

KENNEBUNK – With winter comes icy steps, icy walkways, and icy driveways – it is inevitable. So, the town is launching a program to deliver buckets of sand to senior citizens in Kennebunk.

While there is a public sand pile at the Public Services facility on Sea Road, where residents can fill a five-gallon bucket with a salt and sand mix,  older homebound residents or those unable to life a heavy bucket cannot take advantage of it, organizers say.

For those folks, help is on the way. Kennebunk Police Department officers are leading the effort to coordinate requests from residents and make deliveries while on patrol.

Kennebunk Social Services Manager Karen Winton said many other communities in York County have similar programs and Kennebunk attempted one some time ago, but did not have volunteer support.

“We’ve received some requests here and there for sand buckets,” said Winton, “and we found a way to make those happen, but we knew there were many more in need of such a delivery and were looking for ways to make this a more formal program.”

Kennebunk Police Chief Robert MacKenzie said his officers are a natural for the initiative.

“The officers are already out in the community for a variety of reasons and are in a unique position to check in on the most vulnerable residents in town,” said MacKenzie. “These deliveries will serve two purposes: to deliver a bucket of sand to older members of our community who are unable to get one themselves, and also to make a friendly connection.”

“I really commend the department for recognizing and taking the initiative to address a community need such as this,” said Town Manager Michael Pardue. “Our police officers are able to interact with our seniors in a way that keeps everyone safe and adds a layer of protection for this population.”

Lowe’s in Sanford offered to supply five-gallon buckets to support the effort and Pardue expressed the town’s appreciation. “We are grateful for the support of our local Lowe’s and look forward to a safe and healthy winter for our seniors,” he said.

Seniors and residents with disabilities can contact the Kennebunk Police Department to request a bucket of sand be delivered to their home. For the request form, visit www.kennebunkmaine.us/sandbucket or  call 207-985-6121 during regular business hours to make a request for themselves, a parent or neighbor. A police officer will deliver as soon as possible, once a request is received, said Winton.

MacKenzie said his department follows a philosophy of community policing – a collaborative effort between a police department and the people in the municipality it serves.

“Programs like this help build trust in the community, and particularly with older adults, we want to be a trusted resource,” said MacKenzie.

 

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