With Corporal Melinda Wray,
On a recent spring morning in
April, a man wandered into the Police Administration
Building in Downtown Norfolk. The man smiled politely
with a wide, toothy grin and stared at the officers.
When asked if he needed any assistance, the man
simply stated, I think Im lost.
The man knew his first name and believed he was
married. He recalled living in Connecticut in the
1970s and was dressed in newer clothing with
shoe soles that hadnt been worn through miles
of walking. Without a wallet or identification cards,
a cell phone would have surely shed light on family
contacts. As he pulled his hands from his jean pockets,
a few strands of lint fell from the lining. His
hands were empty and officers were left with a 60-year-old
man, whose memory ended in 1975.
Thankfully, out of all the buildings in Downtown
Norfolk, the man managed to open the one wooden
door located under a small, blue awning. Behind
the door were the Chief of Police and his officers
ready to assist. One hour later, police radios could
still be heard broadcasting the lost mans
description in hopes of finding family.
After scouring the Downtown streets, a woman was
located outside the Battleship Wisconsin. A worried
wife was comforted with the knowledge her loved
one was found as officers reunited the family.
Unfortunately, the task of searching for wandering
or lost individuals with cognitive conditions is
a growing and serious responsibility. Without effective
procedures and equipment, response to these incidents
can involve multiple agencies, countless manpower
and thousands of dollars. Most importantly, every
minute lost increases the risk of a tragic or devastating
Project Lifesaver addresses this growing concern
and has saved countless lives in the process. Families
can easily enroll in the program and their loved
one is immediately equipped with a small, personal
transmitter that resembles a bracelet. It can be
worn around the wrist or ankle and emits an individualized
tracking signal to caregivers. Should a loved one
go missing or wander away, the caregiver notifies
Project Lifesaver and a trained emergency team responds
to the wanderers area. This has significantly
reduced the search time from days and hours, to
an average of 30-minutes.
If you or a loved one had suffered from the affects
of Alzheimers, autism, Down syndrome, dementia
or other cognitive conditions, Project Lifesaver
may be your answer.
Both the Norfolk Police Department and the Norfolk
Sheriff s Office have trained employees working
hand in hand with this program. This partnership
can save time, money, and most importantly, your
For more information about this program, visit their
main website at:
www.projectlifesaver.org or contact your local law