Wake County Sheriff's Office's 'Well-check' program ends today; what happens now?

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Wake County Sheriff's Office has officially ended its well-check program that was instituted under former sheriff Donnie Harrison.

A representative with the office told ABC11 that the program that replaces it will be available for everybody, not just seniors. The official said Harrison's program was "designed to work for a few" and the expanded program is more inclusive.

Members of the Wake County GOP met Monday morning outside of the Wake County Justice Center demanding that Sheriff Gerald Baker continue the well-check program and if not, use the county's reverse 911 technology to check on seniors.

"People are going to die," said Steve Hale, who has worked with every sheriff in Wake County since World War II. "These Wake County citizens are some of our weakest and most vulnerable in the community. It breaks my heart to see somebody laying there and may die in that situation."

Both sides are in a volley of discrepancy of how many seniors are affected by the program's sunset. Wake County GOP said there are 100 seniors in the program, a number decided upon by Harrison, and "many more" on the waiting list to be a part of the program. However, the Sheriff's Office said there are 75 seniors in the program and everyone on the waiting list has been moved up to the active roll.

"Good policies don't have a party label," said county GOP party chair Darren Eustance. "Protecting seniors should not be a partisan issue."

WCSO also said it is working on partnerships with other agencies and organizations to ensure all county residents can take advantage of a well-check call.
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