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Nov 5, 2009 2:54 PM by sleonard

Banks to aid elderly veterans with crime prevention

Jeff Davis Bank & Trust Co. has joined with the American Bankers Association (ABA), the Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA), the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation (SHCPF), the Armed Forces Veterans Homes Foundation (AFVHF) and the National Association of State Veterans Homes (NASVH) to ensure that 40,000 Veterans living in 160 State Veteran Nursing Homes in the U.S. are able to live out their lives in safe, secure, enhanced quality-of-life environments free from the daily fear of crime, abuse, neglect, hostility and deprivation of personal freedom, as provided through the Senior Housing Crime Prevention Foundation's Senior Crimestoppers program.

"As some of us are veterans ourselves, we understand the importance of this program. We are glad we can aid in the safety and security of our veteran nursing homes and in a small way, repay those who fought for our freedom," said Dan L. Donald, Jr., President and CEO of Jeff Davis Bank & Trust Co. "We know it is the right thing to do and we are happy to be a part of such a meaningful program like Senior Crimestoppers."

"Protecting our nation's 40,000 elderly veterans living in long-term care is a need that must be addressed, and I can't think of a better way to get this done than by asking every bank in the country to allocate a portion of their annual Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) budget to securing the Foundation's successful Senior Crimestoppers program," said SHCPF Chairman Mr. Charles C. King, III.

"In spite of many dedicated caregivers to our Veterans, unfortunately incidents of crime and personal violation of these residents is a constant daily occurrence," states Mr. James D. Staton, AFVHF Chairman. "What Veterans Homes need is a proactive, proven program like the Senior Crimestoppers program to keep such incidents from occurring."

"America's servicemen and women dedicate their lives to ensuring our freedom and making our country a safer place to live. Our nation's more than 8,000 community banks are proud to call many of these Veterans customers and serve them in cities and towns throughout Main Street America," said Gary Teagno, president and CEO of the Services Network for the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA). "ICBA is pleased to support this important effort that will provide our Veterans with peace of mind, safety and security."

The Senior Crimestoppers program is a proprietary operation of the SHCPF, a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which was established to provide a vehicle for banks to earn CRA credit through support of nursing home residents, who are classified as low-to-moderate income individuals. "Our veterans are clearly at risk from the ills of society. Senior Crimestoppers has a solid track record of reducing crime up to 92.61%, which is a remarkable achievement. In fact, it is difficult for any of our Home Administrators to imagine a more fundamental quality-of-life issue than the security and safety of the Homes in which our disabled and elderly veterans live," said Mr. Phillip L. Driskill, Past President and Lifetime Member, NASVH.

Senior Crimestoppers is built on a zero tolerance-to-crime platform that is vigilantly maintained for the residents, staff, management and visitors. Each resident is provided their own personal lock box to safeguard valuables. In addition, cash rewards up to $1,000 are posted on every crime incident that is reported to the SCS call center. Rewards are paid anonymously to tipsters having information about the crime incident reported. In addition, all facilities in the program display a membership charter and are provided regular in-service training for residents, staff and management together with employee oath sheets, yard signs and quarterly reporting of crime prevention status.

Because of Jeff Davis Bank, each Veteran resident will be provided a specially designed Veterans personal lock box. In addition, SHCPF will provide each State Veterans Nursing Home with its annual Time of Your Life video exhibit for the resident's enjoyment and each facility will receive an annual cash contribution for a Wish Comes True grant to be given to select Veterans.

"It is time for the banking industry to make a positive statement to the larger Veteran community since one out of every six American citizens is a Veteran. Now is time to step forward with our full commitment to solving this problem and restoring the dignity deserved to those who have defended our freedom and the rights that we as a banking industry enjoy every day," said Mr. Edward Yingling, President & CEO of the ABA.

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