Time is vital in a missing person case. Every minute is crucial. When dealing seniors with Alzheimer's, autism, or other related conditions or disorders, that time is even more essential. Thanks in part to a generous grant from Porter County Triad, the Porter County Sheriff's Office is now able to drastically reduce search time thanks to Project Lifesaver tracking devices.
The Porter County Triad is a partnership that works seniors, law enforcement, and the community to create an environment that gives a sense belonging and security to the seniors of Porter County. This partnership provides worthwhile services and shares information to assist seniors. Some examples include education on senior forms, expired medication collection, emergency beacon distribution, and now: Project Lifesaver.
Project Lifesaver is a nonprofit organization that uses radio receiving technology to help track missing seniors through an ankle or wrist transmitter. If the senior wearing the transmitter does go missing, the next of kin, spouse, or caretaker can activate the transmitter to locate that missing person.
Project Lifesaver’s website notes that recovery time for Project Lifesaver clients averages about 30 minutes vs. the hours or days it may take without a tracking device. The majority of the clients that wear the Lifesaver bands tend to only wander a few miles from home, which also attributes to its success. The website also comments that this is 95% faster than using police only using dogs or other tracking methods to locate a missing person.
An event was held on July 18th in Downtown Valparaiso to demonstrate the practicality of the Project Lifesaver bands. Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas and Porter County Sheriff David Reynolds wore Lifesaver bands and were given 10 minutes to hide. Through the use of a police dog and the tracking device, both were quickly found.