TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — When a loved one goes missing, it’s cause for concern. More so, when it’s an elderly family member with health issues.
Project SafetyNet is a program in the Tampa Bay area that is helping find missing seniors and reuniting them with family before they get hurt. This is possible thanks to some guidance from up above.
“As we get closer to the signal you’ll see the signal get stronger,” says Roger Brown, a Tampa Police Department tactical flight officer.
A high-tech bracelet helps officers find seniors when they go missing.
Families who have signed up for Project SafetyNet get a special bracelet to give to a senior who has dementia or other health issues. That bracelet has its own radio signal.
Officers can locate the radio signal from the sky with the help of an antenna.
“Within a few square blocks, then we can guide the ground units and they do a pretty good job of locating the subject,” says TPD Flight Officer Jo Blanco.
Pilots will take to the sky looking for that signal in areas where the missing person is known to visit.
“Before, it was almost a waiting game. You almost had to wait until they popped up, they surfaced, or one of our units was lucky enough to run into them,” says Blanco.
“It significantly ups our chances of finding them. Finding them before those bad things happen,” says Blanco.
This is a program that law enforcement in Tampa and Hillsborough County wish more people would sign up and use.
There is a monthly fee for the bracelet, and officers do come once a month to check in on that person and change the batteries in the bracelet.
Learn more about the Project SafetyNet program here.
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