Project Lifesaver Helping Keep Families Safe in Beltrami County
For eight years, Project Lifesaver has worked in Beltrami County to keep families who have a member with a cognitive disorder safe. In 2012, the program was brought to the attention of the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office by a father of a child with autism. The program allows families to sign up to receive equipment that can help protect those who may be likely to wander off.
Once in the program, officers go out monthly to maintain equipment, but these meetings serve a dual purpose. It allows clients to get to know the deputies, and knowing the deputies involved in the project helps ensure that if a child does go missing, they are not afraid to reach out to an officer when they find them. There is a $10 fee associated with the program, but due to community donations, that fee is not always required.
There are around 30 families involved in the program. The initiative was used most recently in the county last month, where it allowed the deputies to reunite an elderly dementia patient to their family in only 45 minutes.