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New program to locate ailing individuals

MAYVILLE -- Chautauqua County Sheriff Joseph Gerace Wednesday announced the start of PROJECT LIFESAVER (PLS), a program his agency has launched to provide timely responses to save the lives of adults and children who wander off due to suffering from autism, alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injuries or other related cognitive conditions. County residents with loved ones who could benefit from this program can register online at the CCSO website:, to get a bracelet to be worn by the afflicted person.

That bracelet emits a specific frequency enabling deputies to locate that individual through a special tracking antenna. Gerace said he currently has two certified deputy sheriffs trained in locating and equipping clients with those bracelets. He said that person and that person’s family will be interviewed by the deputy who will be permanently assigned to that client and responsible for battery installation and technical issues affecting the bracelets.

‘The task of searching for wandering or lost individuals can be enormous,” Gerace said. “Without effective procedures and equipment, searches can involve multiple agencies, hundreds of officers, countless man hours and thousands of dollars. More importantly because time is of the essence, every minute lost increased the risk of a tragic outcome Project Lifesaver is an important tool for the sheriff’s office in finding out most vulnerable population,” he added.

“With currently over 5 million Americans who suffer from Alzheimer’s, which is the fast growing developmental disability, and autism, whish program can be an important component to the safety of these vulnerable citizens,” he said.

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