Lancaster Police Department Offers Community Outreach For Seniors Needing Vaccines

Samuel Urbanski
Lancaster Police Chief Samuel Urbanski. Photo oourtesy Lancaster Police Department.

Lancaster Police Dept. Helps Seniors With COVID-19 Vaccine Registration

LANCASTER – Lancaster Police Chief Samuel Urbanski recently came up with a stellar idea to assist seniors in his city.

The idea came from his own backyard, his parents.

“As the vaccines became available to seniors, my parents wanted to get the vaccination,” Urbanski explained. “My parents live in Kaufman County and signed up for what they believed to be the primary COVID vaccination list. After being on the wrong list for several weeks, they finally managed to get placed on the county’s correct vaccination list. My mother then started contacting her friends and helped them get registered for the correct vaccination list with the county.”

After the police chief saw the amount of stress his parents went through with the vaccination system and no one being there to help, he thought the senior citizens in Lancaster might be going through the same types of situations.

“Sometimes we forget that our seniors didn’t grow up with the technology we are used to,” Urbanski added. “Just because the system seems easy to us, a different era of individuals may like a more human based interaction.”

To that end, Urbanski began a program in Lancaster with the help of Lancaster Officer Natareno. They called on all the city’s seniors within the community who are registered with the Lancaster Senior Life Center.

Lancaster Police Officer S. Natarino. Photo courtesy Lancaster Police Department

“The goal was to see if the seniors were interested in getting the vaccine; if they were currently on a list for the vaccine, ensuring they were on the correct vaccination list; and lastly, registering the ones that need help with technology,” Urbanski said.

Urbanski said Natareno took on the task and “excelled beyond my expectations.”

Assisting Seniors Register For COVID Vaccine

Natareno personally took the time to sit down with seniors at their homes with a laptop and assisted with registration. She also helped a couple successfully get their vaccinations after they experienced various technical issues with the county’s registration system and drove another couple to a vaccination site.

Natareno, who is dedicated to this task now said when Chief Urbanski ask her if she would be willing to assist with the program, she jumped on board without a doubt.

Urbanski said the overall goal of the community outreach program to help those who need vaccines is not necessarily about the quantity of the seniors they are helping, but rather more about being able to aid those who need help the most.

“We are [also] currently working with the Lancaster Fire Department on a system where we can bring the shots to the senior’s homes too,” Urbanski added.

Natareno’s job assisting seniors will continue according to Urbanski until they have done all they can to help the city’s seniors.

“The senior citizens have been really appreciative of how the department has been assisting them with the difficulties of registering for the vaccine,” Natareno concluded. “I feel that this is the type of community service we need to be conducting to mend the community and police relationships. I am also very grateful that Chief’s heart is in the right place when it comes to policing.”