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Seniors and Law Enforcement Together

Thompson Center on Lourdes and Appleton Police Department are working together to educate Appleton area seniors on various topics related to law enforcement.
Posted at 8:26 PM, Jan 25, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-25 21:34:40-05

APPLETON (NBC 26) — Appleton area seniors got together at the Thompson Center on Lourdes to learn about social media and digital safety

  • Members of the Appleton Police Department worked with the Thompson Center to create a presentation that was easy to understand and accessible for the seniors
  • Everyone can benefit from knowing how to stay safe online

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

With more online scammers out there than ever before, it can be tough for anyone to know what's true and what's not. But for seniors living in Appleton, there’s no need to fear what they're seeing online.

That's where SALT comes in. SALT stands for Seniors and Law Enforcement Together. Every month or so, Appleton area seniors get together at the Thompson Center on Lourdes to learn about various areas of law enforcement.

Courtney Osenroth is a manager at the Thompson Center. She helps it all come together each month.

“This is a year-long program we have done," says Osenroth. "They bring in monthly speakers on a variety of topics, whether it be social media and digital safety, investigative services, and more. There are lots of different programs we have had with them.”

This month, the topic of discussion was about staying safe online. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crime Complaint Center, in 2022, there were 88,262 complaints of fraud from people aged 60 and older, resulting in $3.1 billion in losses—a shocking 82.35% increase compared to 2021.

APD Community Engagement Specialist McKenzy Wagner gave the presentation to the seniors.

“It is important because they are on social media, and that is a big way they stay connected," Wagner commented. "Obviously I want them, encourage them to be on those different platforms, but making sure they are not giving up too much personal information is important for us."

Mary Girard took part in the SALT program. She says she realizes the importance of this topic.

“Social media can be a place where we are vulnerable."

The Appleton Police Department says if you or anyone you know might be a victim of an online scam or scheme, call them immediately. Social media users can also report suspicious activity to the platform on which they observed it.