RNJ News Department

Morris County Sheriff’s Project Lifesaver Program finds 91 year old Hanover man on ground in park

(Morris County, NJ)–A 91 year old Hanover Twp. man with dementia was found safe on the ground in Central Park early Thursday, September 28, 2017 thanks to the Morris County Sheriff’s Project Lifesaver Program.  The man’s wife activated the system when she reported him missing around 4:28 AM.  He was last seen around 10:30 PM on Wednesday night.  Upon his arrival, Morris County Sheriff’s Office Detective Eric Hanna received an audible alert from the Project Lifesaver PLI 3000 tracker.  He informed the Hanover Twp. officers the direction of the alert was south of the S. Jefferson Rd and Eden Lane intersection.  Less than five minutes from receiving the signal, Hanover Twp. police officers located the man in Central Park on Eden Lane, over half a mile from his residence.  The male was found lying on the ground unharmed wearing minimal clothing.  Cedar Knolls First Aid Squad responded.

The Morris County Sheriff’s Office Project Lifesaver Program is free to Morris County residents and is used to help locate missing persons with dementia, Alzheimer’s, Down Syndrome, autism or traumatic brain injuries.  These clients are at risk of wandering and not able to communicate who they are or where they live.

Adults and juveniles on the program are equipped with a bracelet with a transmitter attached.  The waterproof transmitter is about the size of a watch and emits radio frequencies unique to that client.  Should the client go missing, the special tracker is used to pick up that specific frequency to find the client. The program not only helps to keep the client safe but also shortens search time and provides peace of mind to the caregivers.  The Morris County Sheriff’s Office average recovery time is thirteen (13) minutes.

“This is an outstanding program that reassures the families and caregivers that all possible resources will be utilized in the effort to locate and return their loved one home safely.  It assists the local municipalities with fast results and keeps the residents of Morris County safe in all seasons,” said Sheriff James M. Gannon.

This is the second time this year the Morris County Sheriff’s Project Lifesaver Program located a missing person.  In June, a 66 year old Kinnelon man with  dementia was located using the tracker and found walking a quarter of a mile away from his home.

Project Lifesaver is a national program that began in 1999.  The Morris County Sheriff’s Office started its program for adults in 2003 and added children in 2005.  Since then, it has taken off to become the second largest program in the state with 124 clients.  The program’s officers are certified and trained on the equipment and attend Autism and Alzheimer’s training.  Project Lifesaver is available in every county in New Jersey.

For an application or more information, visit www.sheriff.morriscountynj.gov or call Sheriff’s Operational Services at 973-285-6618.