Project Lifesaver helps provide rapid response to save lives and reduce the potential for serious injury for adults and children who wander due to Alzheimer’s, Autism, Down Syndrome, dementia and other related disorders.
The Bergen County Sheriff’s Office is proud
to participate in Project Lifesaver
International, which helps provide rapid
response to save lives and reduce the
potential for serious injury for adults and
children who wander due to Alzheimer’s,
Autism, Down Syndrome, dementia and other
Project Lifesaver has more than 1,100
participating agencies across the U.S.,
Canada and Australia, and is implemented in
every county in New Jersey by local Sheriff’s
offices. As the lead agency in Bergen County,
the BCSO is trained and equipped to deploy
members of the Sheriff’s Office to assist local
police agencies in locating individuals who
may wander from home and become lost due
to confusion and memory loss.
How Project Lifesaver Works
Participants in the program are fitted with a
one-ounce, battery-operated radio wrist
transmitter that emits a silent tracking signal
every second, 24-hours-a-day. The signal
can be tracked on the ground or in the air
from several miles.
Each wristband has a unique frequency, so
the BCSO’s Project Lifesaver team can
positively locate and identify a person who
has wandered away from home using a
specially designed radio receiver.
If a participant wanders off, the caregiver
would first contact his or her local police, who
would then initiate a search while contacting
the Sheriff’s Office. A team of specially
trained officers from the Sheriff’s Office would
respond and search, utilizing the electronic
The team is trained in methods necessary to
communicate with a person who has
Alzheimer’s, Autism Down Syndrome or a
related disorder. The team knows how to
approach a disoriented person, gain their
trust, and put them at ease for the trip home.
Project Lifesaver was established in 1999 by
the Chesapeake, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office.
The program has rescued more than 2,143
people in the last 10 years with a 100 percent
success rate. In areas where the system has
been used, search times have been greatly
reduced, which can mean the difference
between life and death. The average rescue
is less than 20 minutes and the program has
saved many hundreds of hours of search
time and public resources.
If you are a caregiver of an individual with
Alzheimer's, Autism, Down Syndrome or a
related disorder, and are interested in
applying for Project Lifesaver:
Please call the BCSO’s Community
Outreach Unit at 201-336-3540 to request
Participants must be diagnosed with
Alzheimer’s, Autism, Down Syndrome,
dementia or a related disorder.
Participants must live in Bergen County in a
private residence with a 24-hour, live-in
There is a one-time equipment fee of $300
for the wrist transmitter, band, battery, clips
and battery tester. Income-eligible
participants may qualify for a waiver of the
initial equipment fee.
A monthly maintenance fee of $13 covers
the cost of the bracelet and battery.
The wrist transmitter remains the property
of the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office. Once
the individual is no longer utilizing the unit,
it is returned and reassigned to another
participant in the program.
An officer from the Sheriff’s Office will
schedule an appointment to attach the
wristband unit and train a caregiver in how
the equipment works.
Project Lifesaver is made possible through
the cooperative effort and support of the:
Please call the BCSO’s Community
Outreach Unit at 201-336-3540 for details.