Albany police ask for public's help funding Project Lifesaver

Forms are available for those interested in the program. / Albany Police Department

The Albany Police Department needs the public's help continuing a new program aimed at saving lives.

In January, the first three recipients of Project Lifesaver were fitted with tracking bracelets aimed at locating missing persons with a mind altering diseases such as Alzheimer's, dementia, Down Syndrome and more.

On Monday, the APD invited the public out for an informational session on how the program works and to also ask for help funding it.

APD Investigator Kawaski Barnes says most people that have Alzheimer's or other diseases are on fixed incomes and cannot afford the $250 tracking bracelet, which is why they're trying to get donations to kickstart the program.

By fitting at-risk people with a bracelet with its own unique frequency, officers can easily locate them up to a mile away on the ground and up to 10 miles by air if the person happens to get lost.

In order for the bracelet to work properly, its batteries and fittings must be checked for a $15 monthly fee. While officers say the $250 might be steep for recipients, most are willing to pay the monthly fee for some piece of mind knowing their loved one is safe.

Officers also explained the importance of using the bracelet for its true purpose, which is immediately notifying police when a recipient goes missing, not after family members or workers can't find them.

Police Planning and Research Manager Sonya Johnson says by explaining how the program is intended to work and how important it is to families, they're hoping more people will invest in the project.

Johnson says almost everyone is directly affected by a mind altering disease, like Barnes who has an autistic nephew, so it's easy to understand the importance of having the project in our area.

Those who came out were given an application and donation form so the department can have a list of ready and willing participants once they receive enough donations to order the next round of bracelets.

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