Over the course of one year the Floyd County PD has had several encounters with nonverbal persons who are walking in or along the side of the road. This is a vulnerable population who is at risk of harm and who can easily go missing without anyone knowing.
Some have ended in tragedy, but more often police have been able to reunite families.
By contacting police to register your loved one with special needs, officers will be able to shorten investigation times and more effectively serve our vulnerable population. The application can be found by going to the Floyd County Police Department Facebook page. The police department is asking parents and caretakers to download this application or contact the Floyd County Police Department for an officer to visit your home.
Nonverbal symptoms are most commonly found in those with dementia or autism, but can be seen in others who are intellectually-delayed or who have cognitive impairment. The police department most commonly interacts with this population when they go missing or wander away from home.
One case recently involved an elderly man. A passerby called 911 to report a feeble man standing in the middle of a busy intersection. When police arrived the man did not speak. For more than an hour police and 911 worked to locate family, who were unaware he was missing.
In another case a 6-year-old left home in the middle of the night and was found walking along a county road. Thanks to resources and previous networking by the police department, the officer was able to contact educators and notify parents.
In both cases the person left home without anyone’s knowledge. It is impossible for caretakers to watch their loved ones 24-hours a day. Even if the loved one is in a secure location, locks can easily be defeated.
Persons with dementia and autism are very mission oriented and do not consider the dangers of traffic, heat exhaustion and hypothermia when they wander. If they make a decision there is little that will deter them from their goal.
FCPD is proud of its partnership with Project Lifesaver, a non-profit company that sells a radio transmitter device to help locate missing clients who wander from home. The cost is $375. But even if families can’t immediately purchase the transmitter, the police department can help you register your loved one so we can help them find their way home.
Registration will include name, address, physical description with photograph and emergency contact. Floyd 911 already provides this service for patients with specific medical needs, which helps EMS prepare for the patient prior to their arrival.
This registration process is no different and will decrease the amount of time it takes police to identify and reunite families.