Project Lifesaver, a program that uses state-of-the-art technology to locate individuals with Alzheimer's and others who have a tendency to wander, is scheduled to launch in Upper Arlington in early 2010.

Project Lifesaver, a program that uses state-of-the-art technology to locate individuals with Alzheimer's and others who have a tendency to wander, is scheduled to launch in Upper Arlington in early 2010.

The Upper Arlington Police Division and the Upper Arlington Commission on Aging began last year researching the program, which is offered internationally and based in Chesapeake, Va. Project Lifesaver equips individuals at risk of wandering off with transmitter bracelets that can be tracked by law enforcement.

Having raised more than $11,000, the police and the Commission on Aging plan to begin administering Project Lifesaver locally next year.

"With the initial funds that we've been able to raise, we've been able to purchase two electronic search kits along with 10 transmitters," said Officer Heather Galli of the UA police, also a member of the commission. "We received those at the beginning of October and over the last month and a half we have trained all of the officers."

The Upper Arlington Police Division is in the process of modifying its search-and-rescue policies to include the Project Lifesaver technology, Galli said.

"Our goal is, after the first of the year, to start identifying and bringing clients into the program," she said.

In reaching their fundraising efforts, the police and the Commission on Aging received support from local organizations such as the Upper Arlington Rotary Club and Northwest Kiwanis as well as private donors to offset startup costs.

"Right now we can potentially put 10 people on the program free of charge," Galli said.

Project Lifesaver allows individuals who have wandered off to be found in a very short time, dramatically reducing the risks to the straying individual and requiring fewer man-hours for the search.

In administering Project Lifesaver, Upper Arlington police plan to work with authorities in Westerville, Union County and other communities that offer the program, Galli said.

"We are affiliated with Project Lifesaver International. We have access to other jurisdictions that are using Project Lifesaver so we can coordinate our resources," she said.

"One of our goals, hopefully by our example and coordinating with other jurisdictions, is to show the positive aspects that it can have on the community and the peace of mind it can bring for caregivers of loved ones that have some kind of a cognitive disorder."

Fundraising efforts for Project Lifesaver are ongoing. For more information, call the Upper Arlington Commission on Aging at (614) 583-5326.