The Panama City Police Department has purchased Project Lifesaver equipment using grant money. The set of equipment can track anyone who is a participant in the program if they are wearing the transmitter. The transmitter can be worn as a bracelet, anklet or it can be attached to clothing.
The equipment, manufactured by low jack, runs on a radio frequency. Each transmitter is assigned it's own three digit tracking signal so if an enrolled citizen disappears, law enforcement will type in the three digit code, then use an antenna to search the area.
Newchannel 7 tested the system Wednesday afternoon. We hid the transmitter and had law enforcement find it. After hiding the transmitter, Sgt. Steve McEuen activitated the receiver and combed the area. He found it in one minute and 37 seconds.
"I'm not sure there was any difficulty to it. It's a very simple to use piece of equipment, it's very effective. The transmitter puts out the signal, the receiver picks it up and the strength gets stronger as you get closer," Sgt. Steve McEuen, Panama City Police Department.
Police say this equipment is ideal for people who suffer from Alzheimer’s, Autism, Down Syndrome, Dementia or other cognitive illnesses.
"Any patient like that, that experiences wandering and their caregiver is trying to do the best can do to keep an eye on them but 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is a tough job," Sgt. Jeff Becker, Panama City Police Department.
Project Lifesaver is already used in 45 states and several countries. That means law enforcement agencies in other areas can track someone who may be visiting that part of the country. All they have to do is call Panama City Police for that person's 3 digit number.
The bracelets are free to patients, but there will be a monthly maintenance fee to cover battery and wrist band replacement. Panama City Police hope to make the project lifesaver system available to the public within the next 30 days.