Long Beach veterans patrol the streets as regular officers as part of the senior police partner volunteer program

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Long Beach veterans patrol the streets as regular officers as part of the senior police partner volunteer program

LONG BEACH, California (KABC) – A group of retired veterans is making a big difference in Long Beach.

Men and women patrol the streets as regular officers as part of the Senior Police Partner Volunteer program and have become an integral part of the police service.

“I would not be sitting chatting with people, but going out in the city I love to see what’s going on,” said John Ingram, 73, a US Navy veteran and volunteer.

The average age of the volunteers is 73 years. Seven of the 25 volunteers are military veterans. They do not carry weapons, but what they do have is compassion and an understanding of what it is like to be a senior living in Long Beach.

“We have encountered circumstances where they have no one to turn to – no advocate. We can be an advocate and help (direct) them to resources in Long Beach,” said Harry Ivey, 83, retired American. Veteran of the Navy and the Korean War.

They assist sworn officers at accident and crime scenes by directing traffic, ensuring crowd control and sometimes comforting the victims.

“Being able to help people in uniform representing the police has been rewarding. We can spend time as retirees – officers have calls that we don’t have,” said Michael E. Karlson, US Air Force veteran.

They proudly served the United States and today they do the same at home.

“We are not very energetic. We are trying to get people involved. We are not doing anything. We are writing tickets but we are trying to get people involved and put them on the right track,” said Ingram.

“I try to work as long as possible before I have to give it up,” said Edmund Guerry, 87, a volunteer, veteran of the US Navy and the Korean War.

If you know of an organization that makes a difference in the lives of veterans, let us know at abc7.com/salutes and join the conversation on ABC7 Salutes on Facebook.

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