Peoria uses new tool to find missing people with medical conditions

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by Stella Inger

azfamily.com

Posted on July 18, 2013 at 9:34 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 19 at 9:35 AM

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Peoria residents now have a new tool to help them find missing people with medical conditions that cause them to wander off. 

If you're a caretaker of someone living with Alzheimer's, autism or another condition, you can participate in the program by having them wear a tracking device.

"This program has a history of finding people who are wearing these bracelets within 30 minutes from the time we're told they're missing. That's huge cause every minute counts," said Amanda Jacinto with the Peoria Police Department.

The device is now used in 47 states and can be worn on the wrist or ankle. It uses radio frequency to find the lost person. All you have to do is call police and report the person missing.
 
"GPS trackers and things like that, they're keeping constant monitoring on those individuals, where this we would activate if we needed it," said Jacinto.

Dr. Amy Kenzer, who works for Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center in Phoenix, loves the idea.

"It's great cause it helps build awareness. This is a real risk and it keeps the community aware. And it really gives additional resources to families because this is a very real struggle for them," said Dr. Kenzer.

Dr. Kenzer says that statistically 50 percent of children with autism will wander off.

"The real risk is that these children might not have the skills to be able to say what their name is, that they're lost, their phone number, their address. So the basic safety information, they may not be able to communicate with somebody," said Dr. Kenzer.

There is an initial start-up fee with the device. For more information click here.

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