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James City County’s CONECT (Community Outreach Network Educate Care Thrive) Program was recently selected as the winner of the Virginia Municipal League’s 2019 Innovation Award for Public Safety. The annual statewide competition recognizes innovative problem-solving, excellence in management, citizen participation, and improved services to citizens. VML received more than 50 entries, from which judges selected one winner in each of six categories.The County’s Fire, Police and Social Services Departments use the CONECT Program to meet the needs of senior residents in their home so they can maintain safety in their places of residence and enjoy a high quality of life.Since the program began in March 2018, over 300 referrals have been made by first responders if they have encountered a senior resident who has experienced a mobility emergency, such as a fall, or who is in need of assistance beyond the scope of services that the Fire and Police Departments can provide; 71% of those referred were previously unknown to Social Services.Do you know of someone who may benefit from the CONECT Program? Referrals are no longer limited to first responders and can come from family members, friends and community agencies. Anyone interested in making a referral can call 757-259-3182 or email email@example.com.For more information about the Innovation Awards, visit the VML website. Media Contact:Rebecca Vinroot, Social Services Director757-259-3104; firstname.lastname@example.org