Having a database available to identify individuals at risk and provide it to the fingertips of the officers in their cruisers seemed very attractive to Chief McFadden. Just a few nights prior to their conversation in below zero weather, a man in his eighties had been out wandering on a major road at two in the morning, in his pajamas and slippers. Thankfully, the man was willing to get into a Good Samaritan’s car and was brought to the police station. It took several hours before the police could unravel his identity.  His family was not even aware that their loved one had gone missing as he had slipped out of the house unnoticed in the middle of the night.  

With this new database an officer in their cruiser, who has spotted someone out wandering, will be able to instantly pull up a recent photo and key information of a pre-registered individual including; the name the person uses, what triggers or calms the person, and contact information for parents, caregivers and/ or caseworkers. Family can be contacted immediately and the individual will be spared the trauma of having to go to the police station or the hospital emergency department.

In another scenario, if a pre-enrolled person is reported missing, the officer in the cruiser will have instant access to all the information they would need, including a photo, so they could immediately mobilize search efforts much more effectively. Seconds count in these situations and often minutes, if not hours, are lost while officers attempt to obtain needed information and photos of the person.

For loved ones and caregivers this program provides an added layer of security and peace of mind. Few things are more terrifying to parents of children with conditions like autism, or those caring for their parents with Alzheimer’s, than the thought of their loved one getting lost, and knowing that they will not be able to find their way back home, or to safety.

Linda Lee can be contacted through HANS: www.helpautismnow.com or (207) 505-0307

WABI TV5: Mother Helps Belfast PD Include Database for Wanderers
Posted Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
By Morgan Sturdivant
Please wait approximately 1 minute for video below to load:


Linda Lee's son is autistic.

She says communicating with him has come a long way since he began using his art to express his emotions.

Keeping him safe may be her biggest concern.

That's why she went to the Belfast Police Department to see if they had any sort of tracking device in the event her son were to wander away and get lost."Mike McFadden the chief was kind enough to sit and talk with me and tell me that he didn't have any tracking devices here, and so we talked about other things and at the end I said, well what should I do, and he said he'd love to have a database of the people that wander."

They soon discovered the computer system in place for all of Waldo County could easily handle an additional database specifically for those who wander.


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