This correspondence is to give “kudos” to the Rio Rancho Police Department:

About a month ago my neighbor on the right showed up at my door to tell me that my neighbor on the left had been in a really bad automobile accident, and his wife, who was left alone while he ran an errand, suffers from advanced dementia. He was only going to be gone to pick up some groceries.

The police department came and asked this neighbor if she could stay with the man’s wife, so she went over to check on it. As it turned out, it was going to be a long-term care responsibility, which she couldn’t do.

We are all over retirement age, so caring for someone else, outside of our own home, is not easily done. She asked me if I knew who to call for help.

I tried some of the health care agencies, but with this shutdown, I had to leave a message and phone number. I knew that wouldn’t work with this lady, so I dialed 911.

The Albuquerque 911 operator listened and then told me he would put me through to Rio Rancho 911. They answered, and while I was telling him the reason for my call and where I was calling from, he put me on hold for a minute. Then the neighbor who had been doing the checking on our other neighbor was at the door, so I let her in and told her that I had the Rio Rancho Police Department on the phone.

At that time, the officer came back on line, asked to talk to her, so I handed the phone to her and he talked to her.

The reason he put me on hold was so he could begin the “rescue mission.” Within six minutes, we had three Rio Rancho Police cars at her house.

Within 30 minutes, there was a personal vehicle parked there with a care person to stay with the neighbor and take care of her needs. A care person has been there every day — they do 12-hour shifts — every day since.

Remember, this has been at least a month of care arrangements.

There were no nearby family members, and with the COVID problem, everything that needed to be done was complicated.

The family members from the East Coast are here making living arrangements for them now.

I’m from the old school, when our police departments were respected. They are still there for us, if we behave ourselves. Please remember this.

Thank you, everyone, who cares! That should be all of us.

Verna Hutchinson

Rio Rancho