VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Virginia Beach Police are encouraging people to sign up for the Project Lifesaver electronic tracking program used to find people who have Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders, or people with Down’s Syndrome or autism spectrum disorder who may become lost or endangered.
This comes after city police on Jan. 4 found an 84-year-old man who has dementia in First Landing State Park.
Police got the call at 8:47 p.m. for a missing person in the 2800 block of Charlemagne Drive. Due to the late hour, low visibility and location being so close to the Chesapeake Bay, they started immediately searching the area to include the beach, bike paths and neighborhood. The detective bureau, according to the VBPD, also responded and began the process of requesting a Silver Alert through the Virginia State Police.
Working with Park Rangers, the police department got access to First Landing State Park and began searching for the man on ATV. About a mile in the park, the man was found on a trail and assisted out of the park and taken home to his wife.
Police said they are working with the family to enroll him in the Project Lifesaver program. People get a personalized transmitter that emits a constant radio signal 24-hours per day, and when identified as missing, officers identify the signal using a specialized directional antenna to track the missing person.
Project Lifesaver has responded to more than 3,000 rescues, with all being successful with an average recovery time of less than 30 minutes.
More information about Project Lifesaver.