September 5, 2018 – Today, Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, Sheriff Jim McDonnell, and Director of the L.A. County Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services Department (WDACS) Cynthia Banks came together to officially launch “L.A. Found,” a groundbreaking countywide initiative which aims to quickly locate individuals with autism, dementia, or Alzheimer’s disease when they wander and go missing. It features a system of trackable bracelets that can be located using receivers carried in Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department helicopters and designated ground units. To learn how to qualify for a bracelet, caregivers can visit www.LAFound.com.
The L.A. Found initiative establishes a voluntary system of trackable bracelets, provided by the nonprofit organization Project Lifesaver, for at-risk individuals. While the bracelet is not under constant monitoring, when an individual wearing a bracelet goes missing, caregivers call 9-1-1 and the police agency or sheriff’s station will inform the Sheriff’s Department Mental Evaluation Team who will deploy receivers to help locate the missing person. The Project Lifesaver bracelet uses radio frequency technology to transmit an electronic “chirping” signal to help rescuers locate the wearer. Electronic handheld receivers are used to locate missing persons with the bracelets and are being used by law enforcement agencies across the country with great success. Weather permitting, airborne searching improves the distance a signal can be detected using specially equipped sheriff’s service helicopters in the event someone wearing the special bracelet is lost.
In order to qualify for the program, caregivers must first schedule a phone interview with either the Sheriff’s Department or WDACS through the website at www.LAFound.com. Once an at-risk individual qualifies, the caregiver will be allowed to purchase and register the bracelet with the Sheriff’s Department. The bracelets cost $325, plus shipping and handling. There are leasing opportunities available through Project Lifesaver. There is currently a waiting list to be considered for a free bracelet. Call 1-833-569- 7651 or email LAFound@WDACS.LACOUNTY.GOV to be placed on the waiting list.