Missing Man with Dementia Located by Massachusetts State Police in Boston using SafetyNet Tracking Technology
Press Release 10/06/2016
A 72 year old man with dementia who wandered away from a state-run facility on Staniford Street in Downtown Boston was located quickly as a result of a rapid response by specially trained and equipped members of the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) using a tracking program called SafetyNet.
Although located within the City of Boston, the MSP are the primary first responders for incidents occurring at this location due to it being a state-run facility. As such, when residents go missing, it is the responsibility of the MSP to coordinate and conduct a search. For searches like this where cognitive impairments are involved, time frames to locate the missing person can be many hours to many days.
About four years ago, the MSP made the decision to implement SafetyNet, a tracking program based out of Boston that utilizes radio frequency technology to track and locate missing people with cognitive conditions. The MSP Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) received specialized training by SafetyNet and were equipped with digital tracking equipment that allows them to plug in the frequency number of a missing participant’s transmitter. Using a series of antennas and tracking techniques, they can often track down the missing person quickly which saves time, manpower, money and ultimately, lives.
On October 6 at approx. 10:30AM, a 911 call was received reporting the man missing. He had last been seen at about 3:30AM. The MSP SERT deployed trained and equipped personnel to the area of Staniford Street where they began a methodical search. The MSP Air Wing was also notified and dispatched a helicopter out of their Plymouth facility which was also manned by trained and equipped troopers. Within two hours, the helicopter crew picked up the signal being given off by the man’s SafetyNet transmitter and tracked him to the area of the State House where they radioed to ground SERT members who responded to that area. Within minutes, they were able to zero in on the man’s signal and located him on Ashburton Street.
SafetyNet has had more than 560 successful searches for missing people with cognitive conditions since its inception in 2010 and the program is available statewide in Massachusetts. This was the MSP’s fourth successful search using the program. For more information on SafetyNet call (877) 434-6384 or go to the SafetyNet website at www.safetynettracking.com.