Law enforcement promote system that helps vulnerable children and adults

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DANE COUNTY, Wis. (WMTV) -- It's one of the most terrifying situations a caretaker can endure is when a vulnerable loved one goes missing. The Alzheimer's and Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin says 60 percent of people with dementia wander.

"Big issue for the individual is safety because that is one of the most dangers situations you can have," Dementia Outreach Specialist, Noreen Kralapp said.

She recommends families with loved ones who have Alzheimer's or Dementia to organize a plan, maybe invest in a gps tracking system on a phone, or sign up for the Care Trak program with a local law enforcement agency.

Care Trak created telemetry based tracking for people at risk in 1986, and Dane County got their system in 2012. Around 2008 was when they first got a system similiar to Care Trak but switched over four years later.

"It most successfully worked when a young boy went missing a few years ago," Dane County Sheriff Deputy Scott Herrem said.

He is one of the eight specially trained deputies that helps keep watch of 66 people in the county. He says majority of the people are elderly but they do track some children with autism.

"We can get out there quickly so someone isn't lost for ten-thirty-forty minutes from when after that the time to recover them becomes more difficult," Herrem said.

The equipment has located thousands of Alzheimer’s wanderers and children with special needs such as Autism, Down syndrome and other conditions across the country. The frequency can pitch up a signal in areas that phones often don't get service making it a great resource for people in rural communities.

To sign up for Care Trak, you must pay a fee of $200-$300. If you want more cost effect ways to prevent wandering,
click here.