Sheriff to provide tracking bracelets

Helen Bock, victim’s advocate for the Montrose Sheriff’s Department, models
one of 10 tracking bracelets that are now available at no cost for people
with disabilities who may wander off

MONTROSE — When the parents of a mentally challenged Montrose woman discovered she was missing in May, they went through days of agony before she was found safe.

Their anxiety might have lasted only minutes if she had been wearing a Project Lifesaver tracking bracelet.

Montrose County Sheriff Rick Dunlap recently purchased 10 of the bracelets, which will be provided free of charge to people with Alzheimer’s, autism or other disabilities on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Helen Bock, victim’s advocate for the Sheriff’s Department, said the bracelets were paid for with a $10,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Criminal Justice.

Each bracelet costs about $300, Bock said. The grant also paid for two radio receivers and a tracking antenna, which together cost about $6,000.

“Mesa County also has them, and our receivers will work with their equipment,” she said.

“We’re the second county on the Western Slope to get them.”

Dunlap’s goal is to get 50 of the tracking bracelets, Bock said, and he is working with Delta County so it can get grants to buy the same equipment.

The bracelets work by transmitting a radio signal around the clock, Bock said. People wearing them can’t take them off unless they cut through the plastic band, she said.

“On the ground, the receiver has a one-mile radius,” she said. “In the air, the range could be a three- to five-mile radius.”

The bracelets will be attached by Bock, she said, and caretakers will have a checklist for maintenance.

“Once a month we change the bands and change the batteries and note any problems,” she said. “We also make sure the caretaker is testing it every day.”

Project Lifesaver was developed in 1999 by the Chesapeake County, Va., Sheriff’s Department and has had a 100 percent success rate, according to its brochure. 


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