NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - “Project Lifesaver” was in full effect recently in New Rochelle, as the Police Department tracked down a pair of developmentally disabled residents that temporarily went missing last week.
Spearheaded by New Rochelle PBA President Chris Greco - who is the parent of an autistic child - last year, Project Lifesaver provides families with state-of-the-art bracelets that helps caregivers keep track of those dealing with illnesses such as autism, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
The wristbands contain transmitters that emit a radio frequency, which can be tracked by the family and police in the event that a loved one gets lost. Project Lifesaver is currently being utilized in 42 states and Canada.
Last week, Project Lifesaver made a big impact in the community, helping the police department track down two missing seniors.
In the first case, responding officers were able to track the missing senior within 25 minutes. In the second, a concerned citizen was able to help the senior before police had to be dispatched to their location.
According to the New Rochelle Police Department, “the bracelet is a one-ounce battery operated radio wrist transmitter that produces an automatic tracking signal every second, 24 hours a day. The signal can be tracked on the ground or in the air over several miles. The bracelet is water resistant and is made out of a very strong plastic material that is difficult to remove without the use of scissors.”
If a caregiver alerts the police about a wandering incident or missing loved one that is enrolled in the program, officers will be dispatched to the area to begin the search using a mobile locator tracking system. If necessary, they may receive an assist from Westchester County Police officials and their aviation unit to locate the missing person.
To be eligible for Project Lifesaver, children and adults must be “diagnosed with a developmental disorder, have a history of wandering and live with a primary caregiver who provides daily ongoing care” while living in New Rochelle. There is a $300 fee for the first year using the tracking bracelet, with an $85 fee annually unless it is waived.