15Dec

County Task Force Recommends Tracking Bracelet System to Locate Lost Individuals

Los Angeles, CA—On Wednesday at the final meeting of the Bringing Our Loved Ones Home Task Force, the group of experts unveiled their final recommendations –endorsing a plan to use a voluntary system of trackable bracelets to find individuals prone to wandering, like those suffering from Alzheimer’s or autism.

Supervisor Janice Hahn endorsed the idea of implementing a tracking bracelet program following the disappearance of Nancy Paulikas, a Manhattan Beach resident who suffers from early-onset Alzheimer’s.  Nancy went missing while on a trip to LACMA with her family in October 2016 and, despite diligent search efforts, has yet to be located. In February, Supervisor Hahn launched the Bring Our Loved Ones Home Task Force to explore solutions to the growing problem of wandering.

Implementing a trackable bracelet system countywide would drastically improve Los Angeles County’s ability to assist families struggling to care for loved ones who are prone to wandering.  Bracelets equipped with tracking devices would be distributed to interested families caring for individuals who are prone to wander.  While the bracelet is not under constant monitoring, if an individual goes missing, the Sheriff’s Department would be notified and be able to locate the bracelet using handheld receivers. A similar program has already had successful results in the City of Glendale.

“These bracelets work and there are families across LA County who need them to keep their loved ones safe,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “This is a plan that will give support and peace of mind to caretakers and I am ready and excited to make it a reality.”

In addition to the bracelets, the task force recommended a number of other strategies that will also improve the safety of children and adults at risk of wandering. These include a new law enforcement investigational checklist, better coordination of Jane/John Doe searches at hospitals, first responder education, and a community awareness campaign.

Supervisor Janice Hahn will bring these recommendations to the Board of Supervisors in the coming weeks to vote on their implementation.