APD receives Lifesaver Grant

Ann West, the parent of an adopted boy with autism, says she would feel comforted knowing her son had a tracking band from APD

The Albany Police Department has received a Lifesaver's Grant provided by Project Lifesaver which will help them track individuals with Autism and Dementia via a bracelet that may have wandered away from their homes.

"Each individual that will be granted into the program will be given a bracelet, and it's a transmitter type of bracelet somewhat like a GPS," says Sonya Johnson with the Albany Police Department. "Those who may fall in the realm of Alzheimer's, folks who suffer from Dementia, those are the types of individuals that this program will assist."

It's a program Ann West, the mother of a young boy with Autism and Down Syndrome, researched and brought to the attention of the Albany Police Department.

"To know that that band is on him in case of an accident, in case he slips out or slips out of the gate or anything happens, it's a big relief to know the band is on him and I can call 911, have an officer respond and get him where ever he's at. It helps," she says.

Her adopted son, Ty Christian - who she describes as curious - wandered off twice: Once while on a playground with other supervised children and once while company was walking in the door of her home. At her home, police and family members were able to find Ty within 15 minutes, but when every minute counts it turns into a long, terrifying 15 minutes.

"I thought what if I don't see him smile again, what if something happens, what if he's hurt, what if he's killed," West says.

She says while the band does not relieve her of her parental duties, she says it does relieve her to know the police department could find her son in minutes instead of hours in case of an accident.

Johnson says the program is in the early stages and an application process for families wanting a bracelet through APD's program is still being established. She says, however, bracelets will be first come first serve.

Stay connected to updates about APD's equipment from Project Lifesaver on our website,, and on FOX 31 News.