LYONS — Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts is urging residents to consider “Project Lifesaver,” a service that tracks people who wander away from home or become lost.

Project Lifesaver tracking devices, in the form of battery-powered bracelets, are offered at no cost to families with relatives who may have autism, Down syndrome, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or other impairments.

The transmitters, which are worn on the wrist or ankle, emit an individualized tracking signal that allows police to find people after they are reported missing.

“I encourage families with loved ones who are at risk of wandering or becoming lost to enroll in the program,” Virts said. “Please be proactive, so if your family member does get lost or is missing we will be able to find them much quicker.”

When the person goes missing, their caregiver notifies the sheriff’s office through the Wayne County 911 Center for a trained emergency team response. Most people who wander are found within a few miles from home, and the Project Lifesaver technology can reduce search time from hours or days to minutes.

In cases where the person goes into another county, Project Lifesaver is used in 48 counties around the state as well as the New York City and municipal police departments in Nassau County. Nearby counties such as Ontario, Seneca, and Yates also use Project Lifesaver.

Virts said his office received the Project Lifesaver system through the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, and in partnership with Project Lifesaver International and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

To enroll a family member in the program, contact Amy Henkel at (315) 946-5728 or email ahenkel @co.wayne.ny.us.

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