Wandering Database (see Links Below Videos to Counties)
The Wandering Database was created in Belfast Maine in April 2014 as a result of a conversation between Police Chief Michael McFadden and Linda Lee, HANS, whose son has autism. Lee had gone to speak with McFadden about the availability of tracking devices since she was concerned about her son getting lost. No tracking devices were available; however having a database available to identify individuals at risk for wandering and being able to provide it to the fingertips of the officers in their cruisers in real time, including a photograph, seemed very attractive to Chief McFadden. 

Just a few nights prior to their conversation  a man in his eighties had been out wandering in below zero weather, in his pajamas and slippers on a major road at two in the morning. The man did not know his name, or phone number, or where he lived. Thankfully, he 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 elderly family member had gone missing as he had slipped out of the house unnoticed while they were all asleep.  

McFadden, Lee, and Owen Smith, 911 Communica- tions Director for Waldo County were able to create the Wandering Database by using existing computer systems. Thanks to this program if a loved one who is prone to wander has been preregistered, their photo and key information, including “triggers“ is immediately available to the police officers via the cruiser computer.  While in the community police officers can also search the photos in the database to identify someone who they have spotted out wandering and contact their family.

Registration requires filling out a simple form and attaching a photo. There is no cost for this service, and all information is kept confidential.

Wandering Database Program Locates Missing Elderly Man
Click to view WTM Video


BOWDOIN, Maine —An elderly Bowdoin man is home safe Thursday after wandering off for a third time in a year-and-a-half. Guy Kittle went missing from his home on John Tarr Road, and was found in just a few hours, thanks to a new program.

"Technology today is what makes a huge difference often times," said Cpl. Aaron Skolfield, of the Sagadahoc County Sheriff's Office.  Especially for officers in Sagadahoc County, searching for someone like Kittle who's wandered off, Skolfield had the details right away.  "I shot up to give a hand and that's when we started coordinating resources," Skolfield said.

He was found three hours later in a field behind his home. Officials credit the county's new wandering-person program.  "It could be for children, people who are developmentally disabled," said sheriff Joel Merry. "It could be for people with the early stages of Alzheimer's."

The program keeps a record of the person for first responders and details on places they're likely to go -- when it counts. "Depending on the weather and the circumstances of that particular day, you know time is of the essence," Merry said.

It was a little warmer Wednesday, and officials said Kittle, who has Alzheimer's, was found with wet feet near home. He was spotted from above by the Maine Warden Service. "They relayed that information to folks on the ground and we had a deputy right nearby that was able to go right to his location," Merry said.  

Those who want to have a loved one enroll in the wandering-persons program can contact the Sheriff's Office.
Penobscot County Launches Database
Designed to Help Officers Find Wanderers
March 16, 2015

By Erica Stapleton
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WABI TV5: Mother Helps Belfast PD Include Database for Wanderers
Posted Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
By Morgan Sturdivant
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