Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento police: Transmitter bracelets help track people prone to wander

Officers working with Project Lifesaver International are trained to use specialized tracking equipment to locate people who are outfitted with transmitter bracelets because of medical conditions that make them prone to wander.
Officers working with Project Lifesaver International are trained to use specialized tracking equipment to locate people who are outfitted with transmitter bracelets because of medical conditions that make them prone to wander. Sacramento Police Department

The Sacramento Police Department is joining a nationwide program that allows families to use radio-frequency technology to track loved ones who are prone to wander off due to certain medical conditions.

Project Lifesaver International was established in 1999 by the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office in Virginia and includes more than 1,500 member agencies in all 50 states, according to a Police Department news release.

The program outfits clients who meet certain eligibility requirements to be outfitted with a transmitter bracelet. Each transmitter is assigned a radio frequency that is unique to the individual and the geographical area. Although it is not a substitute for 24-hour care, police said it can assist law enforcement officers if the person goes missing.

If a client goes missing, the caregiver is required to call 911 and a trained team from the Police Department will respond to search for the missing person using specialized tracking equipment.

Since it was established in 1999, Project Lifesaver has been involved in more than 3,200 searches nationwide and reports a 100 percent success rate, with an average search time of less than 30 minutes, according to the news release.

Noting that several other law enforcement agencies in the region have found the program successful, the Sacramento Police Department has implemented a six-month pilot program with an initial client base of up to 10 people considered the most at risk, the news release said.

To participate in the Sacramento Police Department Project Lifesaver, a person must:

▪ Live in the city of Sacramento.

▪ Be diagnosed by a certified physician as suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, autism or Down syndrome.

▪ Be under 24-hour care, not in a facility.

▪ Be known to wander away from caregivers.

More information about Project Lifesaver is available by emailing projectlifesaver@pd.cityofsacramento.org, or by calling 916-808-7283 and leaving a detailed message. An officer will be sent to meet with the family, explain the program and discuss equipment.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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