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Triad means protection for senior citizens

March 04, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

For four years now, the older citizens of Washington County have had an ally named Triad in their battle against crime, injustice and fear.

A party was held recently to celebrate that association.

The organization consists of a sheriff, area chiefs of police and older/retired leadership in the community, all working together to reduce the chances of seniors becoming victims of criminals.

"We are again signing our Triad agreement," said Washington County Sheriff Charles F. Mades.

He joined Hagerstown Police Chief Arthur Smith, Hancock Police Chief Donald Gossage, acting Smithsburg Police Chief Mike Neuland and Maryland State Police barrack commander Lt. Bruce Smith.

Mary Della Toffalo, a local Triad coordinator, said the program also is geared toward providing more law enforcement services to older citizens.

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Della Toffalo was also present when Triad was formally launched Feb. 29, 1996, by Mades, then-Maryland State Police Lt. Cecil Bittinger, and former police chiefs Dale Jones of Hagerstown, Jim McAulay of Hancock and Tom Bowers of Smithsburg.

Della Toffalo became interested in Triad through her work in Seniors and Lawmen Together, known as the SALT council.

Deputy First Class Jim Holsinger has been working with the SALT council and Triad in his capacity as crime prevention deputy.

A program called Seniors Calling Seniors is a cornerstone of the programs, having at-risk seniors contacted on a regular basis to make sure their needs are being met.

In 1998, the Maryland State Triad Conference was held in Hagerstown, attracting representatives from Triad groups in all 23 counties to the Venice Inn.

For more information on SALT or the Triad program, contact Holsinger at 791-3020, ext. 553.

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