Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Bethlehem Launches "Take Me Home" Program

From Bethlehem: Searching for a wandering or lost individual with Alzheimer’s, autism, dementia or other cognitive disorder is a growing and serious responsibility. In order to reduce injuries and save lives for adults and children who wander due to a cognitive condition, it is imperative that communities have effective tools in place to locate the individual quickly.

The City of Bethlehem has been implementing the Project Lifesaver program for several years by providing wristbands to individuals with special needs, particularly those with autism and Alzheimer’s disease. The wristbands contain a small personal transmitter that emits an individualized tracking signal. If an enrolled client goes missing, the caregiver notifies the police department and a trained team responds to the wanderer’s area. Unfortunately, the supply doesn’t meet the demand so the City has decided to implement the Take Me Home program in conjunction with Project Lifesaver.

Take Me Home is a voluntary, free program that will be offered by the City of Bethlehem Police Department that allows for the safe return home of those who may not be able to communicate vital information to law enforcement officers or first responders. A family member or caretaker can simply complete an enrollment with a photo of the individual who may need special assistance and that information will be placed in a database that can be accessed in police cruisers or back at the police station. If an officer finds someone who cannot communicate where he or she lives, they can simply search the database. The system also works in reverse so if a loved one goes missing, their picture and description is immediately available to the police. “This is a program that enables the Police or first responder to return an individual who may need special assistance back home faster than in the past,” said Mayor Bob Donchez. “If you have a loved one who has difficulty communicating, then this program may be for you.”

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