FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major Lafayette Woods, Jr.
Operation Commander/Public Information Officer
THE JEFFERSON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE PARTNERS WITH PROJECT LIFESAVER INTERNATIONAL: Jefferson County, Arkansas – July 12th 2012 – On Monday, July 16th 2012 at 2:00 pm, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) is planning a press conference to announce their recent partnership with Project Lifesaver International. Sheriff Gerald Robinson along with Project Lifesaver International Instructor Neil Johnson of Hudson, Wisconsin will share details of the announcement. We hope you are able to attend, as it is important for the public to know and understand this new initiative. We have also invited two families with loved ones that have been identified as potential candidates for the project based on incidents detailed below in this release. The scheduled press conference will give the media as well as the JCSO the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to improving the lives of families affected within Jefferson County by incidents involving a lost loved one. On the aforementioned date from 8:00 to 4:00 pm through Wednesday, July 18, 2012 JCSO Deputies will receive training on the program to cover functions as well as basic operations of the equipment.
Project Lifesaver is a radio transmission system designed to assist law enforcement and rescue agencies in locating lost or missing persons who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Autism, Dementia, or other disorders that may prohibit them from communicating personal information such as who they are or where they live. This program is designed for children and adults who have the propensity to wander from their homes and who may get lost.
Project Lifesaver is a coordinated county-wide project partnering County and City law enforcement and emergency response agencies. Project lifesaver can help provide peace of mind to caregivers. However, it does not replace the need for supervised care.
The transmitter is a small circular radio device on a wristband, approximately the size of a wristwatch. The transmitters and wristbands are worn 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and are difficult to remove without the appropriate tools. If the participant becomes lost or missing, the Sheriff’s Office and emergency response services have specialized tracking equipment to help isolate the location of the transmitter the participant is wearing. The search will start from the last known location of the participant and work outward until the transmission signal is obtained. The goal is to determine the location of the signal in a quick, timely manner, minimizing the risk of harm to the loved one.
Sheriff Gerald Robinson sought the need for the partnership following a number of repeated instances where either a child or elderly individual suffering from autism, dementia, alzheimer’s or another form of mental disorder was reported missing and resulted in rescue and/or recovery efforts being deployed by the agency.
Most recently on May 26th 2012 and for the second time within one (1) year, Sheriff Robinson and his deputies were dispatched to Humphrey, Arkansas to the report of a missing nineteen (19) year old African American female identified as Camille Davis. Davis, who Sheriff Robinson is well familiar with was also reported missing on September 6th 2011 but was located via the Sheriff’s Office Plane a short time later standing in a nearby field approximately 200 to 300 yards from her residence in Humphrey, Arkansas.
On May 24th 2012 at approximately 1:15 pm deputies were dispatched and responded to the report of a missing elderly man (Johnny B. Lawson), who had reportedly been missing since 12 noon from his residence located on Shannon Road in Pine Bluff, AR. Eighty (80) year old Lawson was reported to have been diagnosed with dementia and went out for a walk in the woods at 12 noon but never returned. Deputies found Lawson at approximately 2:00 pm with no serious injury. Lawson was seen by first responders and cleared soon after without incident.
“This program will assist our agency with maximizing search and rescue operations efforts all while minimizing the length of time it takes for recovery of the lost.” –Sheriff Gerald Robinson