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Annapolis Cares Project Lifesaver

Annapolis, MD - November 7, 2019 - The Annapolis Police Department recognizes that people with cognitive conditions or diseases may need a different approach from officers. For example, they may be sensitive to loud noises and respond to them in an emotional or physical way or they may have difficulty communicating verbally. Annapolis Cares involves providing the police department with information to alert officers that they or a family member may need a different approach from officers. Additionally, addresses in the city can be flagged and when an Annapolis police officer responds to that address they will be alerted that someone at that address is enrolled in the Annapolis Cares Project Lifesaver program.

Project Lifesaver is for residents that, due to a medical condition or disease, may wander. The program utilizes FM band radio transmitters and a tracking system to assist in search and rescue operations. Residents and/or their caregivers can apply to join the program and, if they qualify, will be required to enter into a contract to participate. Officers will meet regularly with clients to maintain the equipment and update information. Distribution of equipment for the Project Lifesaver program will be on a first come, first served basis as there is a limited amount of equipment available for use. A waiting list will be created if needed.

Any information gathered and stored for this program will be kept confidential and only be used for law enforcement purposes. Once someone joins the program they can leave at any time and their information will be completely removed. This program is just part of our commitment to provide our officers with ongoing education to provide the best possible service and make Annapolis a safer place. Our officers and some of our civilian employees are trained in Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety and some have also received Crisis Intervention Training.

"This is a great idea and long overdue," said Annapolis Police Chief Ed Jackson. "I am proud to say that the Annapolis Police Department is an innovative, full-service public safety police department. Our goal is not simply enforcement of laws, but increasing the safety of our residents and visitors. The more our officers can identify and better understand the challenges faced by people in the community, the better they can respond to provide dignified and respectful service to all." Chief Jackson said, "Annapolis Cares Project Lifesaver provides a way for officers to be notified immediately that someone in a home may respond to officers in an unexpected way. It is also a lifesaving search and rescue resource for children and adults who may wander due to medical condition or disease."

"I am so pleased that the City is moving forward on these initiatives to provide inclusive policing practices for some of our most vulnerable residents," said Mayor Gavin Buckley.

The Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention funded the purchase of the Project Lifesaver equipment and training under subaward number CGPF-2018-0013. All points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position of any State or Federal agency. The implementation of Project Lifesaver at the Annapolis Police Department started with a suggestion from a city resident. If you are interested in learning more about the Annapolis Cares Project Lifesaver Program please contact Sergeant Nicole Vaden at 410-268-9000 ext. 5782 or nvaden@annapolis.gov.

About Project Lifesaver International:
Project Lifesaver is a 501 (C) (3) community based, public safety, non-profit organization that provides emergency responders and caregivers with the equipment and training required to protect and, when necessary, quickly locate individuals with cognitive conditions that cause the propensity to wander, such as those with Alzheimer’s or autism. Through the use of state of the art radio frequency technology, innovative search and rescue techniques, and accredited first response training, Project Lifesaver member agencies have, to date, successfully located more than 3,600 special needs individuals during an episode of elopement; the average recovery times for these rescues are less than 30 minutes, which is 95% less time than standard operations. Additional information about Project Lifesaver can be found at www.projectlifesaver.org.

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