“Lost and Found” in Barnstable County:
LoJack meets the Sheriff
BOURNE, Mass. (June 22, 2011) – The Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office has trained a cross section of its officers on how to use the revolutionary new LoJack missing-person finder known as SafetyNet.
The system has two parts: a homing device worn by those at-risk to become lost or wander off; and antennae and other equipment used by rescuers to find them. The device -- a small, lightweight bracelet -- emits beeps which gets louder or softer as the wanderer gets closer or further away. SafetyNet’s average find time is 30 minutes, compared to nine hours in a conventional search.
Fifteen Sheriff’s Office personnel from four units (K9, emergency communications, Special Response Team, and Citizens’ Emergency Response Team) are now certified and eager to begin tracking.
This a proven new tool,” Sheriff James M. Cummings concluded, “and we are grateful to be able to add it to our Rapid Alert program. Rapid Alert gives us the ability to send out hundreds of phone message to let residents know we are looking for someone. SafetyNet, on the other hand and at least as important, gives rescuers the actual equipment needed to hone in on someone who’s gone missing.”
LoJack is paying for the 10 units and paid for the certification training as well. There is no cost to the county, which of course is providing the trackers.
The “clients” who enroll in the program, meanwhile, are frequent wanderers or those at risk of becoming so. The three most common candidate groups include:
R Older residents with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia;
R Younger residents with cognitive conditions, most often those afflicted with autism and its various syndromes (Asperger’s, for example);
R Those who have suffered severe head injuries, a group that includes America’s war-injured veterans.
Concluded the Sheriff: “This is a marriage of technology and technicians. What we’ll be providing are people who know how to use it. The same company that can find your car has now given us the tools to find something a lot more important. And how valuable is that?”
If you or a loved one are a suitable candidate for this program, click on