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updated: 12/28/2012 12:04 PM

Moving Picture: Cary officer on guard for seniors

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  • Cary police officer Kathy Eiring makes her rounds socializing with seniors during the Kraus Senior Center's Christmas party at the Community Center in Cary on Dec. 14. Eiring has been working with the senior community for eight years and was certified as an ESO four years ago.

       Cary police officer Kathy Eiring makes her rounds socializing with seniors during the Kraus Senior Center's Christmas party at the Community Center in Cary on Dec. 14. Eiring has been working with the senior community for eight years and was certified as an ESO four years ago.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Edie Backman of Cary is greeted by Cary patrol officer and Elderly Service Officer Kathy Eiring during the Kraus Senior Center's Christmas party on Dec. 14. The two have been friends for the past few years, and Eiring continues to visit Backman who has recently moved from her home to an assisted living facility. "Whenever she shows up at the senior center, I'm real happy," says Backman, "(She's) a friend to everybody, a good officer."

       Edie Backman of Cary is greeted by Cary patrol officer and Elderly Service Officer Kathy Eiring during the Kraus Senior Center's Christmas party on Dec. 14. The two have been friends for the past few years, and Eiring continues to visit Backman who has recently moved from her home to an assisted living facility. "Whenever she shows up at the senior center, I'm real happy," says Backman, "(She's) a friend to everybody, a good officer."
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Barbara Matson of Cary greets Cary patrol officer Kathy Eiring with "Hello, sweetness!" as she give her a big hug during the Kraus Senior Center's Christmas party. Matson, who has known Eiring for years, calls her a "gift, a real gift."

       Barbara Matson of Cary greets Cary patrol officer Kathy Eiring with "Hello, sweetness!" as she give her a big hug during the Kraus Senior Center's Christmas party. Matson, who has known Eiring for years, calls her a "gift, a real gift."
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Eiring is a certified elderly services officer for the community. She has been working with the senior community for eight years and was certified as an ESO four years ago. It took her years to gain their trust, but now they adore her and are comfortable telling her anything.

       Eiring is a certified elderly services officer for the community. She has been working with the senior community for eight years and was certified as an ESO four years ago. It took her years to gain their trust, but now they adore her and are comfortable telling her anything.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Officer Kathy Eiring chats with Beverly Kolpacke of Cary between Kolpacke's dominoes games at the Kraus Senior Center in Cary. Eiring visits the center at least once a week, sometimes more and even on her days off. The two have known each other for about five years.

       Officer Kathy Eiring chats with Beverly Kolpacke of Cary between Kolpacke's dominoes games at the Kraus Senior Center in Cary. Eiring visits the center at least once a week, sometimes more and even on her days off. The two have known each other for about five years.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Eiring talks with Joan Bickney of Cary about some of her concerns during the Kraus Senior Center's Christmas party. Eiring visits with seniors in the community often, be it during a patrol through town, a check-in at their residence or at the Kraus Senior Center. Over the years, she has gained their trust and they have embraced her in their community.

       Eiring talks with Joan Bickney of Cary about some of her concerns during the Kraus Senior Center's Christmas party. Eiring visits with seniors in the community often, be it during a patrol through town, a check-in at their residence or at the Kraus Senior Center. Over the years, she has gained their trust and they have embraced her in their community.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

  • Video: Moving Picture: Senior Cop

 
 

Cary Police Officer Kathy Eiring meets all sorts of people on the job, but her favorites are the oldest ones.

"I love the elderly because, well, I just bond with them," she says.

Eiring, who is an elderly service officer with the department, has been building friendships and bridges between the police department and the senior community over the past eight years. Four years ago she became a certified ESO.

In her role, she educates seniors about scams and connects them with community resources. Eiring started programs like the Senior Citizen Safety Check Day for their autos, and she even helped a senior study for the driver's license renewal test. This summer, she was given special recognition by Attorney General Lisa Madigan for her "outstanding service to older citizens."

Ask any senior who knows her, and they will readily share their appreciation of her.

"She helps us, she comes and visits us, cautions us, gives speeches on scams and everything like that," says Vi Kozinski of Cary. "She's always looking out for us."

Eiring visits the Kraus Senior Center in Cary weekly, even on her days off. She tries to be a part of as many programs as possible as each one is an opportunity for seniors to voice their concerns. From simple things like a neighbor's loud music late at night to something major like a woman almost getting scammed by a false grandson, Eiring checks into it all for them.

"There's no words to describe how wonderful she is. And how lucky we are to have her. She's a gift," says Barbara Matson of Cary.

Eiring shares that the difficult part of being an ESO is when a senior passes away. "I'll get all choked up. Losing them is the hard part. But the best part is hearing their stories."

Jayne Anderson, senior coordinator for Kraus Senior Center, speaks highly of Eiring and her relationships with the seniors.

"I think my favorite thing about her is that she's a police officer. Her first responsibility very clearly is always being a police officer, have to be a little tough to be that," Anderson says, "But she's got a very, very soft side toward the seniors."

Eiring says she's drawn to the job because of how the seniors make her feel.

"When I walk into the room I'm told I'm beautiful, I get hugs and kisses from everyone, it makes me realize all the little stuff that get us down means absolutely nothing," she says, "They make me feel special and they show me how to appreciate life as it comes. I am so sincere, I truly enjoy them."

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