Police offer advice to parents after 5-year-old leaves home in e - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Police offer advice to parents after 5-year-old leaves home in early AM

Police located the mother of the found 5-year-old boy. (Source: APD Facebook) Police located the mother of the found 5-year-old boy. (Source: APD Facebook)
Sgt. Kawaski Barnes (Source: WALB) Sgt. Kawaski Barnes (Source: WALB)
Two men flagged officers down after seeing the boy walking on North Slappey alone. (Source: WALB) Two men flagged officers down after seeing the boy walking on North Slappey alone. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Albany police are encouraging parents of young children, especially those with special needs, to ask themselves this one question. 

If your child was missing or alone, would he or she know the important contact information to help police get them back home?

This all after someone found a 5-year-old boy with autism walking on North Slappey Friday morning.

The good news is that little boy is back home with his family. 

But police said this is yet another example how important it is that you and your child are prepared for situations like this.

"It's just an unfortunate accident. There's nothing neglectful she did on her part," said APD Sergeant Kawaski Barnes about the boy's mother. 

Albany Police aren't filing any charges against the mother after her 5-year-old son was found wandering alone along North Slappey.

"He's autistic," he said. "He unlocked the door and exited the residence.  So those incidents like that do happen."

Police reports show officers were flagged down around 5:15 a.m. after two men found the boy crossing the road alone. 

"He was fine, he was just a little tired," said Sgt. Barnes. "He was with our investigators this morning and uniform officers prior to that, and they took good care of him."

Police posted pictures of the boy on Facebook.  

And around 9:30 a.m., his mother called the police.

Shortly after, they were reunited.  

"She was given some advice and some pointers on things to do in case something like this unfortunately happens again," said Sergeant Barnes. "She was also advised to maybe stitch something in his clothing with a name, phone number, or something."

He said that crucial information helps officers return children to their families in a timely manner. 

He also says it's important your child knows your full name, instead of Mom or Dad.  

That way, officers will be able to better contact you in a similar situation. 

Officials with the police department want you to know about a life-saving technology they've been using to track children with special needs.

It's called Project Life Saver. 

It puts a tracking device on the child's ankle or wrist. 

If the child goes missing, the parent contacts law enforcement. 

They are then able to track the child's band. 

When they find a location where the band is coming up close by, they have another device to help lead them to exactly where the child is. 

There was an unrelated incident Friday where a three-year-old child was found as well. 

Police say that child was able to provide a name, and officers were able to identify where he should be.  

Police say that situation was resolved. 

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