June 29, 2016

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Brunswick Hills Township implements Project Lifesaver monitoring program

Maria Kacik | The Gazette

BRUNSWICK HILLS TWP. — Township residents will have the opportunity to participate in the Project Lifesaver program, a service that helps locate residents with autism, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or Down’s syndrome who have wandered off.

Township trustees voted last week to bring Project Lifesaver to the township. Brunswick city has offered the program since September 2006.

Sgt. Steve Klopfenstein, acting chief of the township police department, said Project Lifesaver is a monitoring program that consists of a transmitter that is kept at the police station and ankle bracelets that are worn by participants. If the person wearing the bracelet wanders off and cannot be found, police search the area with the transmitter, which beeps intermittently.

When police get near to the person wearing the bracelet, there is a steadier pulse on the transmitter, Klopfenstein said.

Emil Stecki, the volunteer coordinator with the Brunswick Police Department who organizes Project Lifesaver in the city, said there are several autistic students in Brunswick City Schools’ who live in the township.

“Now that Brunswick Hills is coming into the program, they’ll be able to receive the coverage when they’re at home, at work and at school,” he said.

Stecki said the program is intended for people with a brain injury or condition that may cause them to wander off.

Klopfenstein said his department will pick up the $5,600 cost for Project Lifesaver, and will have some fundraisers this year to cover a portion. The police department also will pay $10 a month to replace the battery on the ankle bracelet on each of the participants.

He said every officer in the department will be trained in how to use the system, which will be operational in about six weeks.

Those interested in Project Lifesaver can contact Klopfenstein at (330) 273-3722, ext. 103.

Contact Maria Kacik at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@ohio.net.