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Sullivan County Sheriff's Office unveils 'Project Lifesaver' tracking system

Staff Report • Apr 21, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Those who are concerned their family members may wander away due to medical conditions have a new tool for peace of mind in Sullivan County.

On Tuesday, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office provided a demonstration of their Project Lifesaver program. The Sullivan County Commission gave the Sheriff's Office $10,000 to jump start the program, which outfits at-risk residents with transmitters on their wrists.

An antennae mounted to squad cars can identify the transmitters location to within a quarter mile. Police can then hit the ground with handheld antennas to pinpoint the transmitters location.

Sheriff Wayne Anderson said the program can benefit Alzheimer patients, as well as children with autism and down syndrome, all who are prone to wander away.

In Tuesday's demonstration, an "autistic child" was the Sheriff's Office target. From their training facility on 394, police tracked the "child" to outside Hamrick's, off Interstate 81's exit 63.

Personnel say it took about 13 minutes to find the transmitter, which was nearly seven miles away from their starting point.

The Sheriff's Office currently has 11 transmitters, but Sheriff Anderson would like to boost that number to around 50, as money allows. Anyone interested in obtaining a transmitter for their loved one should call the Sheriff's Office at 279-6064 or 279-7500.

CLICK THE BOX BELOW for a video report from Tuesday's demonstration.

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