Dracut Police Schedule Registration Day To Register Loved Ones For Alert Program
May 09, 2017 02:42PM
● By Bill Gilman
Dracut Police Headquarters
Last fall, Dracut resident Kathy Lucier wandered away from her home. She was missing for three days before being found, cold, but relatively unharmed.
That story had a happy ending. Unfortunately, many families are not so fortunate.
With that in mind, Dracut Police are encouraging people to register loved ones, especially those considered at a high risk for wandering away from their homes, for the Dracut Alert Program.
The registration session will take place on Saturday, May 20, from 8 a.m. to noon at the Dracut Police Headquarters on Loon Hill Road.
According to DPD personnel, the program is not limited to residents of Dracut but for anyone who could be at risk. These include but are not limited to children and adults with autism spectrum disorders, adults suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's and others prone to running away or wandering off.
The registration process includes filling out an information form and supplying a recent photo of the person. All of the data is then uploaded into the department's computer system for easy and fast access if the person is reported missing.
The new, enhanced system was unveiled in March. In a press release, former interim Police Chief Neil Oullette described the system this way:
Participants’ personal identifying information is placed on file with the 911 emergency center to assist Police/Fire/EMS in locating the person swiftly. It also gives first responders vital medical information about a citizen who may be unable to communicate these concerns at the time of the emergency.
Information given to police includes pictures, locations the person is known to visit frequently, medications, and medical history — such as health problems, cognitive delays, vision or hearing impairments. The database is private, confidential and will only be used in an emergency.
The Massachusetts Silver Alert Law, passed in 2010 and modeled after the Amber Alert, requires that adults with severe dementia who may have wandered and gotten lost be treated as a missing person regardless of how long they have been missing. These missing persons must be treated as high-risk and police departments must respond as such. The Dracut Alert Program will provide law enforcement officials with the necessary tools to attempt to locate these people more quickly by having the necessary information on file.
For more information on the program, contact Kate Charron at the Dracut Police Department at 978-957-2123 ext. 1161 or the Dracut Council on Aging at 978-957-2611.