Pandemic Leads To Rise in ‘Welfare Check’ Calls In Tompkins County

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TOMPKINS COUNTY, NY (WSKG) – Calls to police requesting ‘Welfare Checks’ rose last month in Tompkins County.

When making a ‘Welfare Check’, police visit a someone’s home to see if the resident is ok.

In August, the Tompkins County Department of Emergency Services reported 278 welfare check calls. That’s almost one hundred more than the five year average for August.

Celia Clarke/WSKG

Tompkins County Undersheriff Jennifer Olin (top, center) said the pandemic was likely a reason for the increase in welfare check calls. (Celia Clarke/WSKG)

Tompkins County Undersheriff Jennifer Olin shared the report during the county legislature’s monthly public safety committee meeting.

“Throughout this pandemic I think mental illness, depression, anxiety has increased. So, family members, friends are concerned about their loved ones. They’re normally the ones calling in welfare checks,” she said. “More people are at home having less interactions with people. Anxiety and depression is up. So, I imagine all those are contributing to the increase.”

Olin said the calls usually come from concerned family or friends.