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Vulnerable Residents Eligible for Safe Watch Program Through TPD

Individuals with autism or dementia can receive a GPS tracking bracelet

Since 2019 the Tewksbury Police Department has participated in a Safe Watch Program with the use of Project Lifesaver, so that if an at risk child or adult wanders away from their safe environment, the police have the information on file to quickly respond and attempt to locate the missing person.

Project Lifesaver is a 501 (C) (3) community-based, public-safety, non-profit organization that provides emergency responders and caregivers with the equipment and training required to protect and, when necessary, quickly locate individuals with cognitive conditions that cause the propensity to wander, such as those with Alzheimer’s or autism.

Through the use of state-of-the-art radio frequency technology, innovative search and rescue techniques, and accredited first response training, Project Lifesaver member agencies have, to date, successfully located more than 4,100 special needs individuals during an episode of elopement; the average recovery times for these rescues are less than 30 minutes, which is 95% less time than standard operations.

Additional information about Project Lifesaver can be found at the Project Lifesaver website. Residents can also also find helpful advice on how to prevent wandering.

The Safe Watch Program encourages residents to contact the Tewksbury Police if they have a family member who has a propensity to wander, suffers from disabilities or you feel is at high risk and that the information would be helpful to responding officers. This will enable TPD to quickly push out the information to all officers with one click of a button in the event that someone has gone missing.

In addition to wandering, we also want to be able to better serve our residents with disabilities. By having the information before responding to a call, officers will be better prepared to deal with any situation that may arise. Those who meet the criteria will be provided with a Project Lifesaver GPS bracelet which will be able to be tracked by trained officers in the event the individual goes missing.

If you have someone you would like to have in the Safe Watch Program, please fill out the Medical Alert Form (PDF) and drop it off at the Police Station. You can also email the form with a photo. Each person will be entered in to our Safe Watch Program database; a review by our TPD Clinician will determine the suitability for the Project Lifesaver Program.

If you have any questions, please call TPD at 978-851-7373.

Lorna is a U.S. Army veteran and 25-year resident of Tewksbury who has written for organizations ranging from the DIA to InformationWeek to a free weekly in New London that sent her to interview the pastry chef at Foxwoods.

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