KINGSPORT, TN (WJHL-TV) – Officers from the Sullivan Co. Sheriff’s Office were at the Kingsport Towne Center today, but they weren’t shopping.
They were training with the department’s Project Lifesaver equipment. The officers were first trying to locate the bracelet outdoors and then placed the bracelet on a person and had them going thru the mall and tried to locate him.
“Project Lifesaver is a tool we have where we can find people that tend to wander. They can be azheimer’s, dementia, autism, downs syndrome, and there are some other injuries that may cause somebody to wander,” S.C.S.O. Major Keith Elton said. “We put a bracelet on them and that emits a radio signal and we have some really specific antennas that can aid us in the search for them. Usually we can find them within 35 minutes once we arrive on scene.”
Project Lifesaver has been around for around ten years and the tracking equipment has progressively gotten better over the years. Two types of tracking antennas are used, first is an omni-directional antenna that is attacked to the roof of a cruiser that has a range of around a half mile if the subject has wandered off while outside. The a directional tracking antenna is used to hone in on the subject from there of if he subject wandered off inside a shopping center or other large area.
“We can get them close with the car antenna, and then we can find them with the other antenna.”, Elton said.
S.C.S.O. Currently has 25-30 clients at any one time that have the bracelets, but they are looking to expand the program.
“We have a lot of people that need to be on the program, so we are always trying to find funding or resources to provide this tracking equipment to the people that need it.”, Elton said.
Anyone wanting more information about Project Lifesaver or want to make a donation need to contact Carolyn Crabtree at the sheriff’s office at 423-279-7500.
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