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Project Lifesaver helps track at-risk individuals who tend to wander in Bartholomew County

BARTHOLOMEW COUNTY, Ind. — Bartholomew County officials are looking for applicants as they expand a potentially life-saving program.

It’s called Project Lifesaver. It’s an international program that aims to track down at-risk individuals, such as those with autism or Alzheimer’s, within 30-minutes if they wander too far from home.

At the Gray home in Bartholomew County, keeping 14-year-old Quetin and Jaiden inside their home is a constant challenge for grandmother Cathy.

“There’s a gravel pit at the end of the road with water in it, and they would run down that way,” she explained.

For more than a decade, Gray has used a double-lock on her door, and she hides the key to keep the two twins with autism safe.

“It’s hard for me to get in sometimes," she said.

Project Lifesaver launched in in Bartholomew  County this past spring to help people like the Gray family.

“We’ve had several of them say they can rest a little easier knowing if they take off, they have someway to track them,” said Bartholomew County Triad Special Deputy David Coffman.

Earlier this year, the sheriff’s office purchased 50 transmitters with the help of a grant from the Custer &  Nugent foundation.

When an individual goes missing, deputies use a receiver to track that person down as quickly as possible.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office is in the process of securing another grant.

The goal is to give out about 100 transmitters by the end of the year.

Anyone who has a tendency to wonder qualifies for the program—that includes children and adults with autism, down syndrome and those who struggle with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

It is free for the first year and $35 dollars the second year to get the battery replaced.

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