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Sun, Sept. 22

Locator bracelets available for people who wander

Many people with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, Down syndrome, or other forms of mental impairment are prone to wander and get lost. This creates serious concerns for public safety and human welfare.

In an effort to assist the community with these challenges, the Prescott Valley Police Department has increased its ability to provide Project Lifesaver Locater Bracelets as a no-cost public service to those families who would benefit, according to a news release. This increased ability is because of a $3,000 grant from the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County for which the Prescott Valley Police Foundation applied.

Project Lifesaver is the only current organization that was officially organized to train public safety agencies to electronically locate lost people. The task of searching for wandering or lost individuals is a growing and serious responsibility.

There was a 31 percent increase of Silver Alerts published by the Public Information Office of Arizona between 2015 and 2016. In these situations, time is of the essence; every minute lost increases the risk of a tragic outcome. Most of those stricken with mental impairment live at home and most caregivers wait too long before calling police when they discover their loved one is missing.

Citizens enrolled in Project Lifesaver wear a small personal transmitter around the wrist or ankle that emits an individualized locating signal. If an enrolled person goes missing, the caregiver notifies the Prescott Valley Police Department. Trained emergency personnel will then respond to the wanderer’s area with a locator device. Most who wander are found within a few miles from home, and search times have been reduced from hours to minutes.

For more information or to apply for a locator bracelet, contact Community Service Officer Jerry Ferguson at Prescott Valley Police Department, 928-772-5114 or email jferguson@pvaz.net.

For non-emergencies, the Prescott Valley Police Department can be contacted at 928-772-9267; call 911 for emergencies.

Information provided by Prescott Valley Police.

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