Monmouth County Sheriff’s Officers and Middletown Police Officers located an elderly Middletown man who wandered from home last night through the use of the Sheriff’s Office’s Project Lifesaver technology, according to an announcement by Sheriff Shaun Golden.
The 69 year old man was located and returned to safety by Sheriff’s Officers Kurt Kroeper and Ralph Irizzary as well as Detective Al Scott and Sgt. CJ Higgins of the Middletown PD.
“This incident reinforces the significance of the Project Lifesaver Program and what a critical tool it is when locating a missing individual,” said Sheriff Shaun Golden. “I commend the officers involved for their quick and decisive actions. We’re proud to lead the way when assisting individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and Autism through this valuable program.”
The mission of Project Lifesaver is to use state of the art technology to find people with Alzheimer’s disease, other memory disorders or Autistic children who may be prone to wander. A wandering person with memory disorders or an Autistic child represents a critical emergency. They are often unaware of their situation. They may not call out for help and sometimes do not respond to people calling out to them.
The Project Lifesaver participant wears a battery-powered bracelet which emits a radio-tracking signal 24 hours a day and weighs about one ounce. The Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office can respond rapidly in the event that the participant becomes missing. The Project Lifesaver program was developed by the Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office in Virginia. Hundreds of rescues have already taken place nationwide with the use of Project Lifesaver. The average rescue time remains under 30 minutes.
Since the program’s implementation in 2003, Monmouth County has had ten rescues of individuals who have wandered. Currently there are 168 individuals on the Project Lifesaver program; 119 juveniles and 49 adults in Monmouth County.
Each radio transmitter worn by an individual has a unique frequency. Should the client become missing, the sheriff’s office has ten receivers with which to track the missing individual. The range for the radio receiver is one mile on the ground, one quarter mile when roof mounted and five to seven miles in a helicopter.
Applications to participate in the program are available through the Monmouth County Office on Aging, 732–431-7450.