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Mahwah police get tracking system for children with autism, adults with dementia, Alzheimer’s

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

PUBLIC SAFETY: Addressing the need to help find special needs children or adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s who wander off, Mahwah authorities have added a Care Trak System to the police department’s resources.

The need was heightened when a 14-year-old boy with autism vanished while night snow-tubing with his family at Campgaw Mountain Ski Resort ( SEE : Teen with autism who vanished while snow tubing in Mahwah walked to Oakland ).

New Jersey Search and Rescue, Mahwah firefighters, members of Mahwah Res1cue and an army of private citizens joined the search, in single-digits temperatures, as reverse 911 calls went out. He turned up nearly eight hours later, barefoot, knocking on an Oakland resident’s door.

The Mahwah Municipal Alliance is purchasing the Care Trak System and donated it to township police.

Care Trak’s greatest advantage, Police Chief James Batelli said this afternoon, is its 100% success rate — with an average location time of just under a half-hour, “day or night, inside or out.”

“No parent should have to endure the emotional rollercoaster of worrying about their child who has wandered off,” Batelli said this afternoon.

The chief expects to receive the equipment next week and have officers trained by Care Trak instructors the second week of April.

The system operates via telemetry that can home in on someone wearing the transmitter bracelet within a mile on the ground or up to five miles in the air.

The Alliance is funding two tracking devices — and is considering whether to fund the transmitter bracelets, as well, depending on the number of families who look to participate, the chief said.

Batelli noted, however, that “no family will ever be turned down for the bracelets because of financial reasons.”


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