Local Program Helps Keep Track Of Those Who Wander

5/27/17 – The Dodge County Sheriff’s office has had success with a new program aimed at keeping track of those with a tendency to wander. Project LifeSaver is a national non-profit that works with county search and rescue units to help monitor individuals with cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, Autism, and Down syndrome. Second Shift Patrol Lieutenant Brian Loos explained how it works when he was our guest recently on WBEV’s Community Comment. Loos says the device looks like a small FM radio transmitter that is the size of a wrist watch which is outfitted on a wrist or ankle. The transmitter emits an FM radio signal which is trackable using a receiver. There are currently 9 clients signed up for Project LifeSaver in Dodge County. Loos says that many of the people who come on board are identified when the police are called to help find an autistic child or a loved one with Alzheimer’s who has wondered off. One of those clients is Kristi Hartzheim, who uses the device for her 10-year-old son Carter. Hartzheim says her son is a Houdini who can get out of any locked door and has to be next to him at all times, which she says stems from his friendly personality. Loos adds because of the negative impacts that police work has on the officers and families involved; LifeSaver has been a positive impact on the community with children getting excited to see the squad cars and talk law enforcement. In order to qualify for Project LifeSaver an individual must have a cognitive condition that causes them to wander and have a 24 hour care giver, but Loos says that people are very rarely turned away. To get involved or to find out more information you can call Brian Loos at 920-386-4117 or by calling the Sheriff’s Office.