Roeland Park police reach out to help older couple struggling with dementia care

Kevin Collison - August 25, 2016 11:55 am
Roeland Park Police Chief John Morris (left) is handed keys to pickup by Blake Breeden of Boulevard Tires. Sgt. Randy Costlow and Richard Moffett of Benfers Tow also were on hand.
Roeland Park Police Chief John Morris (left) is handed keys to pickup by Blake Breeden of Boulevard Tires. Sgt. Randy Costlow and Richard Moffett of Benfers Tow also were on hand.

Angie Robbins now has a reliable vehicle to take her husband Fred to his medical appointments and run errands, thanks to a charitable effort spearheaded by the Roeland Park Police Department.

Officers became aware of the Robbins transportation problem after responding to medical calls at their home on Roe Avenue where they’ve lived for nine years. Mr. Robbins is afflicted with severe dementia and the couple’s pickup was in bad shape.

“I have to have a vehicle,” Mrs. Robbins said. “My husband has frontal lobe dementia and we couldn’t get around. When we took the bus he didn’t know where he was and I had to have help getting him off.”

Mr. Robbins, who is in his late 60s and had worked in law enforcement for years, had wandered from the home in the past, police said, and required constant medical care and attention.

To top off the couple’s woes, Mrs. Robbins also had recently lost her job, police said.

The Roeland Park police have developed a reputation for going above and beyond the call of duty to help. The department got national publicity last year when an officer helped a woman who was caught shoplifting purchase diapers and other items for her children.

“We want people to know it’s important that we take care of our community,” Chief John Morris said.

After taking stock of the Robbins’ transportation problem, the police department organized the effort to help the Robbins get their 1997 Dodge Ram pickup in shape.

Roeland Park police led effort to get this pickup in shape for the Robbins.
Roeland Park police led effort to get this pickup in shape for the Robbins.

H&R Block agreed to donate $700 to pay for new tires, a battery and servicing. Boulevard Tires and Service agreed to do the work for that price, and Benfers Tow and Repair hauled the vehicle for free.

The overhauled pickup truck was returned to Mrs. Robbins today.

“I am so appreciative of this,” she said. “It was out of the blue, and I’m so thankful. This means the world to me.”

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