Local police departments join program to help seniors, children with autism

Alzheimer's disease, dementia, brain

The Monroe Police Department and the Sayreville Police Department have been added to the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office’s search and rescue component of the county’s Project Lifesaver program.

The combined effort will enable the county to better meet the need of some of the county’s most vulnerable citizens: seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and autistic children who have tendencies to wander away.

“Project Lifesaver helps to keep these vulnerable citizens safe and provides peace of mind to their families,” Middlesex County Sheriff Mildred S. Scott said in a prepared statement.

The program includes a radio frequency tracking device worn by the participant. The device emits a unique radio frequency that enables the team to search and locate the participant should they wander away or get lost.

The Sheriff’s Office works in conjunction with the county Office of Aging and Disabled Services, overseen by Freeholder Blanquita B. Valenti, to administer the program.

“This is a fantastic program,” Valenti said. “We have many seniors, near seniors and children with autism who wander off, so it is wonderful to be able to help them and their families. I am glad that the Monroe and Sayreville Police Departments have joined us, and hope to see more departments come aboard in the future.”

This program is offered free of charge to Middlesex County families who meet specific criteria. Currently, about 25 children and nine adults are enrolled, Scott said.

The program is overseen by Sgt. Keith Lane of the Sheriff’s Office, and Charlene Ilkowitz and Debra Hehir from the Office of Aging and Disabled Services.

The Monroe and Sayreville Police Departments join the Woodbridge Police Department, which already is partnering with the Sheriff’s Office.


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