The Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office is a trained provider and agency member of Project Lifesaver, an electronic tracking system that tracks and locates people with cognitive conditions that cause the life-threatening behavior of wandering.
The primary mission of Project Lifesaver is to provide timely response to save lives and reduce potential injury for adults and children with the propensity to wander due to a cognitive condition. These conditions include Alzheimer’s, autism, dementia, Down Syndrome, intellectual disability, traumatic brain injury, and others. Project Lifesaver’s mission is to provide peace of mind and improved quality of life to these high-risk populations and their care-givers.
How Does it Work?
Clients enrolled in the service wear a wrist-watch sized radio transmitter on their wrist or ankle. The transmitter constantly emits a unique radio frequency signal which can be tracked regardless of where the person has wandered—even into a densely wooded area, a marsh, a concrete structure such as a garage, or a building constructed with steel. When a client wanders, caregivers notify 911, and deputies trained in the use of the receivers respond to the wanderer’s last known area and track the client with radio receivers tuned to that particular client’s transmitter frequency.
Since joining Project Lifesaver in 2013, the Sheriff’s Office has enrolled 18 community members and fitted them with the special technology. Our deputies have since responded to two Project Lifesaver calls -- in one instance, our deputies located the client in seven minutes. In the other, our deputies located the wanderer in five minutes. Both incidents had a happy ending and the wandering loved ones were reunited with their caregivers.
The number of Project Lifesaver rescue calls is only half the story, however. We are happy that it works when we need it to, and we hope our Project Lifesaver clients will never need to be located. But knowing that it’s available, just in case, gives tremendous peace of mind and improved quality of life to loved ones and their caregivers.
How Do I Enroll My Loved One and What is the Cost?
Your loved one must have a medical diagnosis that they are at risk of wandering.
Your loved one must be under full-time care. This is not a substitute for full-time caregiving. They cannot live alone or be left alone.
A representative from the Sheriff’s Office will visit the client each month to perform a battery change and to test the transmitter.
Once your loved one is enrolled, we request monthly payment of $25 to help offset the initial device cost, and the monthly cost of the battery and band change.
Call the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office at 540-727-7520 and ask to speak to someone about enrolling your loved one as a client of Project Lifesaver. A deputy will check your loved one’s eligibility for the program, and schedule an appointment to fit the client with the band.
For more information on Project Lifesaver, you can also visit their website: https://www.projectlifesaver.org/.
Sheriff Scott Jenkins and the Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office are dedicated to making our community a safer, more secure place for everyone to live, work, and play. This is our mission and this is why we offer Project Lifesaver.