Starting today the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department is rolling out a new tool aimed at helping authorities locate residents who have wandered away from caregivers.
St. Charles County residents can purchase a wristband with a radio tracking device that law enforcement can then use to locate people who have wandered away from their homes.
Deputy Sheriff Steve Case said the new system has proven effective in other parts of the country.
“We’ll send out originally two people with tracking devices, and the average recovery time nationwide is about 45 minutes,” Case said. “They’ve got a 100 percent success rate with this system, it’s available at several law enforcement agencies around the country, and we’ll be the first ones to have this in the St. Louis metropolitan area.”
To qualify, someone must be a resident of St. Charles County, have a medical diagnosis that might cause them to wander, like Alzheimer’s disease or a developmental disability, and no access to a car.
“Each individual wristband has its own radio frequency, we know that frequency, we plug that into our receivers,” Case said. “We go to the last place the subject was seen and start tracking from there.”
Case said the system costs residents $250 and will be administered in cooperation with the St. Charles County Department of Community Health and Environment. He said authorities are working with local non-profits to set up a fund to help low income residents afford the tracking device.
Residents interested in the program should call county health officials at 636-949-7400.