Project: Lifesaver Protects Kids - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Project: Lifesaver Protects Kids

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Ty West is a fun loving six-year-old with autism, Ty West is a fun loving six-year-old with autism,
12 year old J.E.B. Morrison was fitted with his own transmitter 12 year old J.E.B. Morrison was fitted with his own transmitter
Xander Lane be found and returned home Xander Lane be found and returned home
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany Police kicked off a new program Tuesday to put tracking devices on people who could wander away from caregivers.

Three young boys were fitted with Project Lifesaver personal transmitters. And if they become lost, emergency teams will be able to track them and hopefully quickly bring them home safely.

Ty West is a fun loving six-year-old with autism, and his mother says that's why, one day a year ago, she got involved with Project Lifesaver.  "My son walked out the door," Ann West said.

West called that day traumatic, and said she immediately started looking for a way to protect him. "You need some sort of tracking system. They sell tracking systems for animals. You can track things with your i-Phone, but it's against the law to use it on a child."

But today, partnering with the Albany Police Department, Ty and two other children were fitted with the first Project Lifesaver devices in Albany. Then Ty and Ann went and hid, and detectives used the tracking device to find them.

The transmitter can be tracked from two miles away handheld, or up to ten miles in use with a helicopter. And the tracker was able to find Ty within minutes.

12 year old J.E.B. Morrison was fitted with his own transmitter. Debbie Morrison said "He wouldn't know to stop or not to talk to strangers or anything. So I'm very glad that there is something now in place that can help find him."

The Project Lifesaver equipment costs about $250 each and these three boys are the first to take part. Because of the expense, the Albany Police Department is asking the community to donate to help them protect more children.

Ann West donated $600, because she believes so strongly in Project Lifesaver.  "This is a need. As we've see, statistically there are more children being diagnosed with autism than ever before. And this is something the community needs."

Protecting Ty, J.E.B., and Xander Lane. So they can be found and returned home if they wander away. Of course as the population ages, the number of adults with dementia issues is expected to increase dramatically, so these type programs will become a greater aid to law enforcement.

The Albany Police are asking concerned people or service organizations to donate to help them serve and protect more families with special need loved ones. If you want more information, call the Albany Police at 483-6298.

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