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92-year-old man with dementia located by Providence Police officers using the SafetyNet Tracking System   

Rescue Story 03/05/2013
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92-year-old man with dementia located by Providence Police officers using the SafetyNet Tracking System

This is the first rescue by the PPD using the SafetyNet System

Providence, RI- On March 5 at approximately 16:06 hours Providence Police Officers were notified that Harold Winston, a 92-year-old male who suffers from dementia, had gone missing. Mr. Winston fled from his caregiver in the area of 155 Pitman Street, near the Rite-Aid parking lot. He exited his caregiver's vehicle and fled in an unknown direction. Officers in districts 8 and 9, as well as Brown University Police, were dedicated to searching for Mr. Winston. It was learned from his family that Mr. Winston is a participant in the SafetyNet Tracking personal locator system.

Sergeant Michael Fallon, who is trained in the SafetyNet program, retrieved the SafetyNet tracking device and met with Patrolman Richard Esposito, who is also trained in the program, and activated the equipment. Police learned from the caregiver that Mr. Winston has gone missing in the past and has been located in a wide variety of locations ranging from India Point Park, to Butler Hospital grounds, to areas on Hope Street. Forty minutes had passed since Mr. Winston was last seen so police initiated the search several blocks away from his last location in an effort to prevent him from straying too far.

Within 10-15 minutes of activating the tracking equipment, Patrolman Esposito narrowed the search area to the Salvation Army Thrift Store on Pitman Street using the mobile tracking antenna affixed on his police cruiser. Sergeant Fallon and Patrolman Esposito then transitioned to the handheld tracking equipment at which time Patrolman Ralph Caraccia entered the Salvation Army Thrift Store and identified Mr. Winston as one of the shoppers in the store. Mr. Winston was uninjured and turned over to his wife and caregiver. This is the first rescue by Providence Police using this equipment.

"The Providence Police Department, particularly the officers who are trained and certified in SafetyNet Tracking, are grateful to mark the first successful recovery as a result of this device. This locator system will help countless families and their loved ones in the future and the PPD is proud to encourage its continued and expanded use," said Colonel Hugh T. Clements, Jr.

The SafetyNet service is comprised of a SafetyNet bracelet worn by a client that emits radio frequency signals which can be tracked by local police via SafetyNet search and rescue receivers. For more information on SafetyNet Tracking visit www.safetynetby.com.