Join CafeMom Today! Autism Amber Alert: Rapid Return
AMBER Alerts are distributed via commercial radio stations, satellite radio, television stations, and cable TV by the Emergency Alert System and NOAA Weather Radio for child abductions only! Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder are NOT included in the criteria for issuing an Amber Alert. This really needs to change.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rapid Return

Rapid Return program eases worries for those providing care for those with autism and Alzheimer's -

Rapid Return is an offshoot of the department's Project Lifesaver, which started in 2007 as a way to track autistic children and elderly people suffering from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. The difference between the two programs is the technology.

Project Lifesaver relied on radio frequency to locate those who might wander off, meaning the missing person would have to be within a one-mile radius of a portable antenna and within a five-mile radius if the antenna was attached to a police helicopter.

Because Rapid Return uses cellphone signals, the missing person can be located anywhere there is a nearby cell tower. As long as a dispatcher can contact a 911 operator in the area where the signal is being transmitted, local police can find the missing person.

"It's better technology," said Sgt. Bill Cheuvront, one of the first officers trained in Howard County's Project Lifesaver, who is now in charge of Rapid Return. "It's a little less burden on the family. They would have to come in every month to charge the battery" on the old devices, he said.

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