A $5,000 donation from the local Alzheimer's Association will help the Columbus Police Department buy 14 transmitters to help locate people who have a tendency to wander from home.
The Alzheimer's Association's donation came from The Grainger Foundation in Lake Forrest, Ill. The money will be used to buy Project Lifesaver transmitters for people with Alzheimer's, dementia and autism.
Brian Brock, market manager of W.W. Grainger Inc. of Columbus, recommended the donation, which was presented during a ceremony at the Public Safety Center.
"We are proud to recommend the programs offered by Alzheimer's Association and the Columbus Police Department," Brock said. "We understand the need for quickly locating individuals who are prone to wander."
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The transmitters are similar to bracelets placed around the wrist or ankle of an individual and emit a tracking signal. If a person goes missing, the police department is notified and a trained emergency team responds with a mobile locator tracking device. The recovery time is 95 percent less than standard operations with search teams.
Police Cpl. Deborah Whitley, manager of Project Lifesaver at the Columbus Police Department, said a previous donation from the Grainger Foundation and Alzheimer's Association allowed the department to buy three transmitters, batteries and bands, which have been in operation for about eight months now.
"The task of searching for wandering or lost individuals is a growing and serious responsibility," she said. "Without effective procedures and equipment, searches can involve multiple agencies, hundreds of officers, countless man hours and thousands of dollars.More importantly, because time is of the essence, every minute lost increases the risk of a tragic outcome."
The transmitter, worn as a watch or bracelet, emits an automatic tracking signal every second, 24 hours a day. With its own radio frequency, the wristband specifically identifies the person who may be lost. A one-year package with batteries and bands cost about $350 each. For caregivers, the greatest expense is the bracelet for people with cognitive disorders.
To get more information on Project Lifesaver Bracelets, contact Whitley at 706-225-4108.