Project Lifesaver

Project Lifesaver

The Elk Grove Police Department is proud to announce its involvement in the Nationwide Project Lifesaver Program. The Project Lifesaver Program will be offered free of charge to Elk Grove residents who are caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's Disease, autism, or other conditions that make them likely to wander away from caregivers.

Special needs residents in our community, who meet the eligibility requirements, are fitted with a device (bracelet) that would allow officers to track them should they become lost. The officers are equipped with locating devices that utilize radio waves to locate the transmitters that the program clients are issued.

Here are some statistics relating to Project Lifesaver

  • Began in 1999 by the Chesapeake Sheriff's Office, Chesapeake, Virginia, as a search and rescue operation, based on the need to find missing Alzheimer's victims. Later expanded to finding children with Autism and persons with Down syndrome.
  • There are an estimated 5 Million persons in the United States with Alzheimer's and by 2030, there will be an estimated 15 Million.
  • 59% of Alzheimer's victims develop the tendency to wander and 72% will do so repeatedly.
  • If the victim is not found within 24 hours, there is only a 50% chance they will be recovered alive.
  • Project Lifesaver started with 10 clients in Chesapeake Virginia in its "pilot program" in April 1999.
  • The program achieved success immediately, recovering lost victims in a record average of less than 30 minutes.
  • Over 1,500 searches have been conducted nationwide with a 100% success rate. All persons have been recovered alive.
  • Project Lifesaver is now operating in 41 states with over 550 agencies in the United States. Information requests have been received from Australia, France, Great Britain, Guam and other countries.

To participate in the Elk Grove Police Department's Project Lifesaver program, the prospective client must:

  • Live within the city limits of Elk Grove.
  • Be diagnosed by a certified physician as having Alzheimer's Disease, other dementia disorders, autism, Down's Syndrome, or similar disorders.
  • Be known to wander away from caretakers.

The administrator of the Elk Grove Police Department's Project Lifesaver program will give qualified participants a plastic bracelet containing a waterproof radio transmitter. Each participant's transmitter is assigned a radio frequency that is unique both to them and to their geographical area of Elk Grove. The bracelets may be worn on the client's wrist or ankle.

If a Project Lifesaver client goes missing, the caregiver should contact the Elk Grove Police Department immediately by calling 911. Trained officers will respond to the location and begin searching for the missing person using Project Lifesaver radio-frequency tracking equipment.

Project Lifesaver is a voluntary program. However, the bracelets will be issued on a first come first served basis to those residents who meet the eligibility requirements. In order to participate, caretakers must agree to assume the following responsibilities:

  • Test the client's radio transmitter battery daily.
  • Check the condition of the bracelet daily.
  • Maintain a monthly log sheet provided by the Project Lifesaver Team.
  • Notify the Elk Grove Police Department's Project Lifesaver Team promptly if there are any problems with the equipment.
  • Most important, immediately call 911 if a Project Lifesaver client goes missing.

The following downloadable documents are available to print and mail to Elk Grove Police Department, 8400 Laguna Palms Way, Elk Grove, California 95758:

The Elk Grove Police Department is very proud to offer this special program to the residents within our community. Should you have any questions pertaining to the program, please call (916) 478-8147 or email us at

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