Project Lifesaver a sweet upgrade for Albany PD

Albany Police Department simulates tracking a missing Alzheimer's or dementia patient with Project Lifesaver / Colby Gallagher

It sounds and looks like a handheld video game but the device is anything but a game. Each beep actually means you're one step closer to finding a missing Alzheimer's or dementia patient.

"We have a database of every client that we have in with their specific frequency for their bracelet. With that, we can go to the last known place that the client was seen, and we can start a search from there," said Tom Iten of the Coffee County Sheriff's Department.

The Albany Police Department received training Wednesday morning, called Project Lifesaver, on how to use the devices to their advantage.

"This allows us to speed up the response time. It provides us with a quicker recovery time for the patients," said Bryant Leverett of the Albany Police Department.

As part of the program, patients will be fitted with the device that is checked updated once a month with new batteries -- and while a bracelet and a metal contraption may not sound promising, it has proven its importance.

What may look like something out of a sci-fi movie is actually credited for saving over 4,300 lives nation-wide, which is important in these special kinds of cases.

"When you're dealing with these type patients, they often revert back. They may be, for example, someone may be at age 70 but sometimes they can think on the level of a 10-year-old," said Leverett.

For Iten, a full-time caregiver to a wife with dementia, the importance of the device hits home.

"I know how hard it is for the caregivers and I want to make sure we make their life as easy for them and take some of that worry off of them."

The bracelets, which can be tracked from up to a mile away and are each worth $280, are a costly but effective tactic that will be implemented in the upcoming weeks.

If you know a person suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia and want to get a bracelet, contact the Albany Police Department for more information.