Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez Jr. announced Friday the department has a new way to help save the lives of some of the most vulnerable residents if they should wander away or become lost. 

Project Lifesaver uses radio technology to track missing loved ones who have cognitive challenges including autism, Alzheimer’s and dementia or other medical conditions that may cause them to wander.  Participants wear a bracelet around their wrist or ankle, which allows their location to be tracked with special search equipment. 

People enrolling in the program must meet the eligibility requirements. 

They must have a medically-diagnosed impairment that hinders decision-making ability; putting them at high risk of getting lost.  Eligible participants must also require 24-hour, one-on-one care.  Participants pay a one-time transmitter cost of $300 and $25 per month to cover the cost of replacing the battery each month, plus the transmitter band and tester. To enroll or receive more information, call the Lake County Sheriff’s Department at 219-755-3400 or 219-755-3193 and ask to speak with their Project Lifesaver representative.

The department will find community resource funding to cover the $300 transmitter for at-risk individuals who cannot afford that cost, according to Sheriff Oscar Martínez Jr.

Project Lifesaver is not affected by weather, according to Martinez Jr.