First Missing Person Located Using FCSO’s SafeTrak Program

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FCSO deputies recently located a missing person with early-onset Alzheimer’s who is the first missing person to be located using an FCSO-issued SafeTrak bracelet.

To participate in the SafeTrak program, a person must be diagnosed with a condition that puts them at a higher risk for wandering away and getting lost such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, stroke, neurological disorders, Down syndrome, autism or similar conditions. Participants must also have a full-time caregiver. The bracelet allows deputies to track those at high risk if they were to get lost.

At approximately 10:30pm on August 21, deputies responded to a residence in the area of Palm Harbor Village Way West and Old Kings Road in Palm Coast after a report of a missing 53-year-old male with early onset Alzheimer’s. The male has a history of wandering away from the residence and getting lost. The missing man had recently been enrolled in the FCSO’s SafeTrak program and had a tracking bracelet placed on his ankle. Using his SafeTrak bracelet frequency, the missing man was located safely approximately one mile from the residence around midnight. Without the tracking bracelet, there was no other way for family or deputies to quickly locate him as he had left his cell phone at home.

“This is exactly why we started our Safetrak program in 2020. We are thankful our SafeTrak program helped to locate the missing man quickly and safely,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “This rescue came at a perfect time as we start our inaugural Summit to Protect and Serve Seniors this afternoon at FCSO Operations. If anyone would like information on the SafeTrak program or how to enroll, please stop by our event and speak to our Community Engagement Unit or email communityengagement@flaglersheriff.com.”

To participate in the SAFE TRAK program, a person must be diagnosed with a condition that causes wandering such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, stroke, neurological disorders, Down Syndrome, autism or similar conditions. Participants must also have a full-time caregiver.

Upon receipt of the bracelet and transmitter, the caregiver will be given training on how to properly work and maintain the device. Should someone in his or her care wander off, the caregiver will then call 9-1-1 and FCSO will immediately begin to search in the area the bracelet was last tracked. For the greatest chance of success, it’s recommended that FCSO be notified immediately should a participant in the SAFE TRAK program go missing.

“I want to thank the great team at Target for their continued support of our agency and the people in our community with this generous donation,” Sheriff Rick Staly said. “I think it is important to roll out this amazing new technology. In law enforcement, we are all too familiar with the absolute panic that can envelope a family when a loved with special needs or a medical condition goes missing. The SAFE TRAK bracelet can cut the recovery time in half. The SAFE TRAK program is just another way that we are working with the community to make Flagler County the safest place to live, work and visit in Florida.”

The initial cost of each SAFE TRAK transmitter is $280.00. Replacement batteries will be provided by the FCSO. If there is a need for a transmitter but the cost cannot be met, FCSO will make a determination, based on need, to provide one at little or no cost. For more information, contact FCSO Community Outreach at 386-437-4116 or email CommunityOutreach@FlaglerSheriff.Com

By Kim Hunt

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