August 6, 2020

Letter to the Editor: Ricardo Mourato

Posted by bobrod72

To the Editor:

"The Lock Box Program has been a great success in our community. I wanted to reach out and share this program with others that may benefit from it.

Police, fire and rescue personnel frequently respond to emergency calls involving elderly and disabled residents. If a person needs medical assistance but unable to open the door for first responders to gain access into their homes, first responders were forced to wait for a key holder, find an open window to climb through or break their way through a door to gain access to the person. This practice took time away from emergency personnel getting to the person in need and caused damage to their property.

First responders can now utilize a real estate type lock box. This box is typically fixed to a door or other object on the property and opened by a numerical or alphabetical code. The home owner provides a key to be secured in the lock box. The box location, box code and which door to be unlocked is kept on secured police dispatch site file.

When a resident in need contacts the police department, the dispatcher will enter the address into the system. If that residence has a lock box installed, that information will populate. An unexpected benefit was discovered during the installation of the boxes. We found some of our senior were sleeping with their doors unlocked in fear of not being able to receive the help needed in an emergency. The Lock Box Program allows them to secure their doors and be assured that rescue will be able to respond if needed.

Since implementing the Lock Box Program in November 2017, the Bristol Police Department has installed 30 lock boxes to date. This would not have been possible without the sponsorship of local businesses and non-profits such as, East Providence Rotary Club, East Providence Fire Fighters IAFF Local-850, Weichert Realtors Tirrell Realty, Greco realty, Seekonk Home Depot and last but not least, our civic leaders who supported this cause including Fire Chief Oscar Elmasian, Senator Cindy Coyne, State Representative Katherine Kazarian, Representative Greg Amore and Representative Helda Cunha.

For more information on the Lock Box Program, contact Capt. John Potvin at the East Providence Fire Head Quarters located at 913 Broadway 401 431-7901 or email at"

Ricardo Mourato
East Providence, RI


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