Sheriff John Samaniego is pleased to have the Shelby County Sheriff's Office participate in the Project Lifesaver Program. Project Lifesaver is an international program that was established in 1999 with a mission to use state-of-the-art technology in assisting those who care for patients with Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Autism, and other medical diagnoses where a person may tend to wander and not find their way home safely.
How it Works
Project Lifesaver utilizes bracelets with radio transmitters that send a unique signal once per second. When a caregiver notifies the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office that a program participant is missing, specially trained deputies will respond to the wanderer’s area and begin searching. The signal emitted by the wrist band can be tracked on the ground or by aircraft over several miles with a specially designed radio receiver. The signals are only utilized and tracked when a person goes missing, and they are not constantly tracked. Only law enforcement officers with specialized training, equipment, and knowledge of the person's unique frequency can use the technology to locate someone wearing a Project Lifesaver bracelet. Because Project Lifesaver is an international program, there are a large number of law enforcement agencies around the world that utilize this technology. This means that if a family in the program travels away from home and a program member goes missing, other law enforcement agencies can use the frequency to help locate the person far away from their hometown.
Sheriff John Samaniego has chosen to cover all costs for this program so that any Shelby County resident needing this service can freely and voluntarily participate. There are no binding contracts or agreements required to enter the program, so the service can be discontinued at any time.
In order for a citizen to participate in the program, they and their caregiver must be willing to abide by the following program requirements:
1) The person wearing the Project Lifesaver bracelet cannot be allowed to operate a motor vehicle.
2) The person wearing the Project Lifesaver bracelet must have 24/7 supervision, and cannot be allowed to live alone or be left alone without a caregiver in the home at all times. The Project Lifesaver bracelet is designed to be a worst-case scenario option for when a person wanders off while under supervision, and is not intended to replace the direct supervision or care of a patient.
3) A Shelby County Deputy must be allowed to enter the home once per month to change the battery on the device. This can be coordinated between the schedule of the deputy and the caregiver.
Current Program Participants
As of Spring 2023, the Shelby County Sheriff's Office services 44 families in the county with the Project Lifesaver Program. The Shelby County Sheriff's Office has also partnered with the Alabaster Police Department to better serve the citizens of their city.
To apply for the Project Lifesaver Program, download the "Project Lifesaver Application and Instructions" document on this page. For more information or to submit your completed application, email ProjectLifesaver@shelbyso.com. You can also call our direct phone line for Project Lifesaver at 205-670-6096.
To learn more about the Project Lifesaver program in general, you can visit their website at www.projectlifesaver.org.