CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - Life saving technology is being used by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to help find those who go missing from home because they're suffering from Alzheimer's or other cognitive disorders.
Project Lifesaver straps a small transmitter to people enrolled, then if they ever go missing, search crews pull out a receiver. The receiver makes a beeping noise to let first responders know how close and in what direction the missing person is. It often cutting search time in half.
"People walk and they can travel a lot of ground in an hour and a half," Detective Donna Ring said.
It's technology that was put to use for the first time Wednesday afternoon when a man with Alzheimer's went missing from Independence Boulevard near Wallace Road. He was wearing a transmitter so when CMPD turned on their receiver from the police station Officers were able to find him near the Bojangles Coliseum within 45 minutes.
The last time this man went missing, he wasn't wearing the technology, and it took four hours to find him.
"This time we didn't have to setup a command post, we didn't have to call the fire department. We didn't put out a media release. We left from here and within leaving from here, the building, we had a signal in 10 minutes," Detective Ring explained.
CMPD said they only have about six to eight clients in Mecklenburg County signed up for the service right now, but hope to add more. If you'd like to enroll a family member who may be in need, head over to projectlifesaver.org.