Project Lifesaver has been addressing the elopement issue in the special needs community for nearly 20 years. With every tragedy comes an outcry, a half measure proposal followed by inaction. It is unfortunate that some companies, when tragedy strikes, use it as a vehicle to promote their products, using fear as a tool for sales. Some even claim their products would have prevented such a tragedy. Before you jump into some technology pushed by fear, do your research. Learn its good and bad points. Ask questions and understand the limitations of the technology!
Understand that technology is only part of the solution to this growing health and safety issue. The real solution is not simply attaching a monitoring or tracking device to an individual, but rather the application of a comprehensive certified training program for law enforcement and other first responders that includes special needs search and rescue, the use of locating technology as an aide, and an understanding of the conditions, patterns, and behaviors of the populations they will be recovering.
By having a national comprehensive compatible program, when families move or travel city to city or state to state, their equipment and the search notification/procedures will remain the same. Also, bordering cities, counties, and communities will be in a position to support each other during a search and rescue operation. With Project Lifesaver member agencies all across the country; there have been multiple proactive initiatives to create state funding to get this type of program into local communities, train more personnel to respond, and help in bringing loved ones home. At this time; Wyoming, Minnesota, North Dakota, and New York have all passed legislation for funding special needs search and rescue programs. Legislatures in other states are in the process of drafting and proposing similar legislation. These are important steps in keeping our special needs communities safer and protected through preventative measures for a wandering incident.
Source: Project Lifesaver International