Klobuchar Highlights Bill Aimed to Help Find Missing People

Project Lifesaver device will help locate those who have a high risk of wandering away from home

MOORHEAD, Minn. — A bipartisan bill sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar aims to make it easier for law enforcement to find people who have wandered away from home.

Children with developmental disabilities and seniors with Alzheimer’s disease have a high risk of wandering.

“We have heard in our office about these cases where people are just scared to death. This is their loved ones. This is someone who they have spent their life basically protecting,” Klobuchar said.

A tool called Project Lifesaver would be available to law enforcement and caregivers to help reduce the search time for those who have wandered off. Any family who feels they need it can receive one.

The tool is a radio frequency system that uses a receiver which has a signal that gets louder as it gets closer to the lost individual, who is wearing the transmitter.

“We know we need more safety nets in place for people living with those types of diseases and this is a really good step forward,” said Kendra Binger, project manager for the Alzheimer’s Association.

“It’s always, with someone living with dementia, it’s always an emergency. It’s always working with families to figure out what’s your safety plan at home. Locking the doors with multiple locks and those types of things to keep them at home,” Binger said.

That safety is even more crucial in rural areas during the winter months.

“If they’re in an urban area while they may wander into something dangerous, people may say, ‘what’s your name’ and realize there’s a problem and call the police. If they’re out in the middle of a field, or on a river bank, they’re not going to find anyone to talk to and that’s where it gets really dangerous,” Klobuchar said.

The Project Lifesaver device costs about $350 for the first year and $40 for each following year.

The bill sponsored by Klobuchar has passed the Senate, and she says she’s confident it’ll pass the House.

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