The City of Santa Clarita is partnering with special needs groups to implement a new system that will help sheriff’s deputies quickly locate individuals prone to wandering due to cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, or autism.
The City’s new locator system allows missing individuals to be tracked in real time by emergency 911 dispatchers, significantly reducing the amount of time and resources needed during search and rescue operations, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars in law enforcement costs. Using this system, the whereabouts of a missing person can be ascertained just about anywhere in the United States.
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“This new system works directly with the emergency 911 mobile system, providing our sheriff deputies with an enhanced ability to quickly locate missing special need individuals and reunite them with their families,” commented Mayor Marsha McLean.
A limited number of these devices for families who would benefit from this type of locator system can be acquired via the City’s two non-profit agency partners, the Santa Clarita Autism Asperger Network (SCAAN) and the Santa Clarita Valley Community on Aging. Individual families who receive the devices are responsible for registering the device and paying a monthly fee of $25 for location services.
“As part of National Autism Awareness Month, the City of Santa Clarita is excited to introduce this new search and rescue technology to our special needs community,” said Technology Services Manager Kevin Tonoian. “With the ability to quickly locate a missing person, this system offers tremendous peace of mind to families with at-risk individuals.”
Information about this locator system can be found on the City’s website at www.santa-clarita.com/SNR.
This new system works in conjunction with the Santa Clarita Special Needs Registry (SNR), an existing confidential safety program available at no cost for residents in Santa Clarita. The SNR, maintained by the City and SCAAN, provides sheriff department personnel with secure access to information to help people with special needs that may become lost, injured, or need special assistance in an encounter with first responders. Families provide key information including a photograph, contact information, special medical and behavioral concerns, and accommodations that may be needed to interact with the individual.
Santa Clarita residents are encouraged to enroll a family member in the secure, protected database online at www.secure-santa-clarita.com/ClearSCV.
For information for adults with Alzheimer’s or dementia, contact Diana Sevanian with the Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging at (661) 259-9444. For children, youth and adults with autism or related conditions, please contact Emily Iland of SCAAN at (661) 297-4205 or firstname.lastname@example.org.