Project Lifesaver helps locate at-risk individuals


UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR) — Project Lifesaver has been around for over 20 years. It’s an international program that works with local law enforcement to help locate at-risk individuals who get lost through a bracelet with a tracking device.

“It’s a little bit bigger than a wristwatch and it’s the easiest way to explain it. And we’ve got different colors, different styles for kids or people that maybe just don’t want the grey watch,” said Deputy Curtis Morgan with the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department.

Law enforcement can trace the radio frequency inside the band through a satellite device. They’re waterproof and the battery lasts 30 to 60 days.

Morgan adds that this isn’t just for elderly people with dementia: “This program is for anyone that could—they call it eloping, or basically known as wandering—but it’s also for people with autism or Down Syndrome or a traumatic brain injury,” he said.

In Oneida County, 31 families use Project Lifesaver, and part of it is funded by the Sheriff’s Office, which retrains officers to use the equipment every two years. Still, Morgan says that since this time there, he hasn’t seen the locator used.

“Fortunately, my time in the community affairs office, we have not had to go out and use this equipment. But it’s good to know the equipment’s there and exists,” he said.

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