Colorado program protects those who may wander from home

Effort aims to keep people with disabilities from getting lost

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In 2004, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office began a collaboration of public and private entities to create what would become the Colorado Life Trak program.

According to the sheriff's office website, the program was designed to offer peace of mind for families with relatives who suffer from mental disorders and may wander from their homes.

“Using specially designed transmitters and tracking devices, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office has the ability to locate that person within minutes,” the website says.

The program is only for people with disabilities who tend to wander, such as Alzheimer's, dementia, Down syndrome, autism, Prader-Willi syndrome and various brain injuries. Participants in the program must have a daily caregiver living with them.

Other details about the program include:

• Participants are issued a free wristband transmitter that they wear 24 hours a day.

• If the participant wanders, the caretaker should immediately call 911.

• The sheriff's office will dispatch specially trained locators with tracking devices that can locate the frequency of the transmitter worn by the participant.

• Once the sheriff's office has started the search using that technology, the average time needed to locate someone is less than 30 minutes. 

• People can be tracked day or night, regardless of weather conditions.

For more information, call the sheriff's office Life Trak program at 720-874-3804. For details on how to apply for the program, see here.

See a list of other law enforcement agencies that may offer the service here at the end of the second page.

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