Osceola Sheriff introduces 'Project Lifesaver' to help find missing people quickly

It’s a call no family member wants to make but if someone with a cognitive disorder wanders or is lost, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office wants to make sure that person is found and fast.

"Putting some of these bracelets and getting them involved in this program could potentially be the difference between life and death," said Sheriff Marcos Lopez when he announced Project Lifesaver. The new initiative is a service that allows people who need it to wear a bracelet with a radio frequency. Deputies can pick up the frequency and track it to find missing people.

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"It’s a peace of mind to know that if something really happened she is going to be found," said Nydia Velazquez. Her mom is already wearing a bracelet. "She is my mother. Mothers are so important. I just don’t want anything to happen."

Project Lifesaver was originally developed in 1999 and averages 30-minute rescues. A new helicopter and car were also unveiled to help with searches. For now, the project uses money from a three-year grant provided by the Department of Justice to fund it. 

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Their goal is to keep the service free for users.

To qualify for Project Lifesaver, applicants must be Osceola County residents, have been diagnosed with some form of cognitive impairment or condition, and show signs of wandering. They should also have 24/7 caregiver supervision and not use a motor vehicle.

To apply call the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office or visit their website.

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