A new month means a new “A Safer Naper” campaign, and time the Naperville Police Department is highlighting two preventative programs: FastTrack and Caring Hands.
FastTrack is a way for the police department to find residents who might be in danger if they ever accidentally wander too far from home unsupervised. Those with Alzheimer’s, dementia or on the autism spectrum for example, could be at risk.
“Clients will wear little transmitters, some wear it on their wrist, call it their special watch, some will have it on their ankle and if they take off the family contacts the police, we have officers that are trained with the equipment, and they come out and will then try to start to track and locate that person,” said Jim Pacetti, Crime Prevention Specialist at the Naperville Police Department
The transmitters are not monitored 24/7, so the wearer still has privacy.
They operate using a radio signal rather than a GPS, as its more reliable.
Caring Hands is another preventative program used by the police and fire department. Started in November 2019, it gives officers tools to prepare for potential distress calls.
Residents can submit a form to notify authorities of any physical, mental, or cognitive disabilities of those in their household. Dispatch could then share that information with first responders on their way to a scene.
“It may be someone who is wheelchair bound, if it’s a house fire then fire department knows they need to get in there and that person can’t get out. It may be someone who is hearing impaired, it may be someone who is autistic and the sirens will scare them so we know to turn the lights and sirens off before we get to the residence. Also if there’s anything we can do for de-escalation, things we can do to calm someone down who’s upset. It might be talking about sports, maybe talking about a movie. Whatever it is we can do to make it a positive experience for the resident.” said Pacetti
To learn more, check out the NPD’s website.
Naperville News 17’s Ryan Skryd reports.
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