City of Alexandria, VA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 5, 2008
Project Lifesaver Comes to Alexandria
Project Lifesaver, a unique program created to electronically track missing persons that suffer from dementia, children with autism, and mentally handicapped individuals, is coming to Alexandria. The Alexandria Sheriff’s Office and the Alexandria Police Department are cooperating with the Kelley Cares Foundation, which provides local funding for Project Lifesaver, to implement the program and to provide training to Alexandria sheriff’s deputies and police officers.
The Kelley Cares Foundation donated ten transmitters to Alexandria’s Therapeutic Recreation Center to begin the rollout of the program. Currently, eight sheriff’s deputies, six police officers and a member of the Therapeutic Recreation Center are certified as electronic search specialists. Certified sheriff’s deputies and police officers will be able to locate missing persons more easily by using the transmitters designed to receive signals emitted from electronic bracelets worn by individuals who suffer from dementia, children with autism, or mentally handicapped individuals.
Both Sheriff Dana Lawhorne and Police Chief David P. Baker are enthusiastic about the Project Lifesaver program. “Project Lifesaver is an exciting new program for our community,” said Sheriff Dana Lawhorne. “This high-tech effort will make a difference for those citizens and their families who need that support in caring for our special friends, relatives and citizens.”
“I am pleased that the police department has again partnered with the Office of the Sheriff to implement a program designed to help local law enforcement locate citizens and children with special needs without undue delay,” said Chief Baker. “I appreciate and applaud the generous contributions made by the Kelley Cares Foundation, whose love and support for the needs of others helped make this initiative possible in the City of Alexandria.”
The Kelley Cares Foundation was formed to carry on the civic-minded spirit of Kelley Swanson, a local graduate of T.C. Williams High School who had a strong desire to make people more aware of the need for inclusion, regardless of ability. Kelley was a very active member of the Therapeutic Recreation Program's Youth Opportunity Sports program from the fourth grade through her graduation from T.C. Williams High School.
Individuals interested in financially supporting the Kelley Cares Foundation are invited to participate in the Kelley Cares Annual 5K Run/Walk, scheduled for Saturday, June 7, beginning at 8 a.m. at George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mt. Vernon Ave. The 5K course, which will begin and end at the school, will go through the neighborhoods of the Rosemont and Del Ray communities. Entry fees for the run/walk are $25 for individuals ages 13 and over, $10 for youth ages 6 to 12, and free for participants age five or younger. All participants will receive a t-shirt. The race is certified by the Road Running Technical Council USA Track and Field, and winners will be recognized in eight age categories.