Fishing activities

New program offers activities for seniors and advice on stopping crime | New

Since its inception in 2020, the Gloucester Police Department Community Impact Unit has always thought outside the box.

From providing resources for people seeking treatment for their opioid and alcohol addiction, to wearing a bike helmet, or buying a support dog, the team has found niche ways to help those who need it most.

It’s no surprise, then, that officers from the unit have teamed up with Gloucester Health Service to create a new education-based, activity-based crime prevention initiative that will help the community’s older population. .

The goal of the new program is to establish an easy way for Cape Ann’s senior population to contact qualified professionals whenever they face a personal challenge or need such as transportation, health care and an improved sense of personal security.

“Seniors are an incredible resource. They have so much to teach us if we listen to them,” said Lt. Jeremiah Nicastro, commander of the Community Impact Unit. “We hope to return the favor by helping seniors learn more about law enforcement, crime prevention, health issues and resources within the community, while engaging with police, officials health and other community members in a collaborative way that will allow each of us to learn from each other.

The program does not have an official name as of Tuesday, but the team of city officials welcome ideas from the community.

The city’s police and health departments have partnered with various organizations and agencies at the federal, state, and local levels to help senior residents confidently address personal challenges, build skills, and proactively overcome temporary problems in their lives.

Scheduled programming will include in-person discussions with the city’s police and health teams as well as future events such as trips to the YMCA to participate in an exercise class, small social events, bowling, visits to police stations, trial observation, CPR, first aid and automatic external defibrillator instructions, Narcan training, and opportunities to mentor and engage local students in fun activities.

“The Silent Generation, born from 1925 to 1945, and the Baby Boomer Generation, born from 1946 to 1964, are proud, independent people who remain wonderfully capable members of society well into their old age,” said the health director, Mary Ellen Rose, who first approached Nicastro with the idea for the initiative. “Our town’s main fishing industry may have changed, but we are the same hardworking, family-oriented people who have been the foundation of Gloucester for nearly 400 years.”

“The commitment to providing older members of our community with the power to help themselves and influence others will inspire individuals to face personal challenges with confidence, enhance their sense of security and facilitate their return. home to a community that could benefit from their wisdom, experience and perspective,” she added.

The program’s first event took place on Monday 17 October at the Gloucester Police Community Impact Unit office on Middle Street. The Department of Health’s Seniors on the Go program provided bus transportation to and from the event.

Nicastro said the approximately 20 seniors attending the event received a tour from the Community Impact Unit and enjoyed a variety of coffee and donuts.

During their visit, the seniors were introduced to the staff of the city’s health department and the services they offer; a discussion of Internet and telephone scams with Gloucester Police detectives; and information about Community Impact Unit programs and services.

“They asked a lot of questions and it really cleared the air and gave them the information they need to not get scammed,” Nicastro said. “It was a great presentation.”

And of course, Ace, the community resource dog, was there for the seniors to interact with.

For more information about the program or to submit a possible name for the program, contact either Lt. Jeremiah Nicastro at 978-325-5471 or or Director of Health Mary Ellen Rose at 978- 325-5268 or

All events will be posted on the Gloucester Police Facebook page.