LEE COUNTY, Ala. & TROUP COUNTY, Ga. — When a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Autism, Dementia or a different condition goes missing, every second is critical during the search. The Lee County (Ala), Troup County Sheriff’s Offices along with other agencies uses a tool that can help in that search process.

The tool is called Project Lifesaver. The device can be worn as either a bracelet on the wrist or ankle. Each bracelet (transmitter) has a specific frequency. When law enforcement learns that a person wearing the device is missing, law enforcement uses a radio receiver that picks up the signal from the device. Once a signal is found, officers can narrow down the area to find the person.

“When we have had to employ it, we have been able to locate the individual with that device in less than an hour,” Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones said.

The devices have a range of one to two miles depending on the terrain. The batteries in the devices must be replaced every four to six weeks.

Troup County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Stewart Smith said the devices are not a replacement for constant care.

“People with altered mental status, sometimes they can revert back to their younger days, and they’ll have a mission in mind of where they want to go,” Sgt. Smith said. “We don’t know where that mission is.”

Law enforcement members said searches for missing persons can use a lot of resources, but the devices can cut down on the time and resources immensely.

“It just gives them one more tool, one more comfort, having something in place that would hopefully allow us as public safety servants to help them locate and be able to return their loved one to the family,” Sheriff Jones said.

If you feel a family member may be a candidate for the device, you are urged to contact your local law enforcement office.