GREENVILLE COUNTY, SC (WSPA) – Greenville County Sheriff’s Office announced Tuesday that they are the latest Upstate agency to purchase new technology that will help them locate missing persons.
Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown, joined by the K-9 Search and Rescue Team commander, J.D. Redman, thanked and the president of Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital System for a $20,000 grant that will be used to secure the devices through Project Lifesaver during the course of the next 2 years.
So far, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office has filed a letter of intent to the program, with the plan of securing the technology in August.
Project Lifesaver International is a nonprofit organization that helps equip endangered citizens with tracking devices for either their wrist or ankle.
If that person goes missing, caregivers will be able to notify trained law enforcement agencies who can then be able to use the device to find the missing person.
According to Redman, the watches or bracelets, which are used as transmitters, are to be worn by people who live with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other health conditions that may make them prone to wandering.
The receivers that deputies will use, will also be able to attach to drones and pick up signals of up to a 7 mile radius.
“When you look at the northern end of the county we still have areas that have no cell phone service,” explained Redman. “So this system, the new one, will work in those areas in addition to working down in the urban where we have both.”
Redman, who leads search and rescue cases with the county, added that so far in 2019, the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office has been on 30 searches for missing persons.
Last April, deputies scoured Paris Mountain for several days in an extensive search, looking for a man with dementia who had gone missing from his home.
Greenville County Sheriff Johnny Mack Brown said Tuesday that having Project Lifesaver may have prevented Dale Hunter’s death.
“Had we had this equipment, the way we could have done it, the man on Paris Mountain may not have died.”
In terms of how much the watches may cost, Redman said that the total price is still unclear for the newer version.
However, older models have sold for about $300 each.
Last year, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office also purchased the devices.
To see if you have a Project Lifesaver trained agency in your area, click here.