Project LifeSaver Program

Project Lifesaver logo
CMPD Project Lifesaver Program

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department is proud to announce its involvement in the Nationwide Project Lifesaver Program. The Project Lifesaver Program will be offered free of charge to Mecklenburg County residents who are caring for loved ones with Alzheimer's Disease, autism, Down Syndrome, Traumatic Brain Injury or other conditions that make them likely to wander away from caregivers.

Project Lifesaver is a rapid response program that uses radio frequency tracking technology designed to locate at-risk individuals that suffer from cognitive impairment issues who may wander away from their caregivers and become lost.

Those cognitive issues may include Alzheimer’s, Autism, Down Syndrome, Dementia, Epilepsy, TBI’s or other special needs. Special needs residents in our community, who meet the eligibility requirements, are fitted with a device (bracelet) that would allow officers to track them should they become lost. The officers are equipped with locating devices that utilize radio waves to locate the transmitters that the program clients are issued. The Project Lifesaver program involves a pro-active approach to identifying persons who are at-risk of wandering and provides a timely response to save lives and reduce the potential for injury.

Project Lifesaver is operated internationally by public safety agencies.

image of a Project Lifesaver bracelet
How does the program work?
Members enrolled in the program wear a bracelet that contains a battery-operated transmitter with a unique identifying number that emits a tracking signal. If the member wanders away or becomes lost, the care-giver notifies CMPD by calling 911.

The Missing Persons Unit and Patrol officers respond to the wanderer’s area. A handheld mobile antenna that is attached to a receiver is used to pick up the member’s signal, thus locating the person.

Who can enroll in the program?
Any child or adult who:
  • Lives in Mecklenburg County; currently cared for in the home by a caretaker or family member.
  • Has a medically diagnosed mental disorder or injury;
  • Has wandered away from a caregiver in the past;
  • Has a caregiver who will be able to perform a daily check and log of the equipment;
  • Will can wear the bracelet at all times.

image of a Project Lifesaver receiver
Project Lifesaver is a free voluntary program. However, the bracelets will be issued to those residents who meet the eligibility requirements. In order to participate, caretakers must agree to assume the following responsibilities:
  • Test the client's radio transmitter battery daily.
  • Check the condition of the bracelet daily.
  • Notify the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department’s Project Lifesaver Team promptly if there are any problems with the equipment.
  • Most important, immediately call 911 if a Project Lifesaver client goes missing.

When a Wandering Event Happens
Call 911 to report your loved one missing. As soon as you find that your loved one has wandered, do not wait to call.

Missing Persons Unit detectives and Patrol officers will respond to the call for service to begin the search for your loved one. Trained officers will respond to the location and begin searching for the missing person using Project Lifesaver radio-frequency tracking equipment. Responding Officers and Missing Persons Detectives will need as much of the following information that you can provide.
  1. Full name and age of the loved one?
  2. What location was the loved one last seen?
  3. How long since the loved one was last seen?
  4. If missing from a residence, has the home, yard and immediate surroundings already been searched?
  5. Have they wondered before? Where were they found before? Do they have a favorite place to go?
  6. What medical condition or disorder does the loved one have?
  7. Does caller have the Project Lifesaver client identifier code?
  8. Physical description? Clothing description?

  • Project lifesaver should be considered a tool to assist in taking care of your loved one not a solution to taking care of them. CMPD will be responsible for changing the batteries each month. Transmitters that are determined to be defective will be replaced at no cost by CMPD.
  • When traveling, you can check the Project Lifesaver website to look for a member agency and contact information of your travel destination.
  • When you no longer need the transmitter, you can turn it in or transfer it to another family member. If transferring to someone else notify CMPD Coordinator to update participant information.
  • Don’t wait to call 911 when a wandering event occurs. If you locate the wanderer before the police arrive, just call back to say that they have been located. CMPD will respond no matter what. CMPD will respond to a wandering incident whether or not the wanderer is a Project Lifesaver participant.

Contact the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Missing Persons Unit if you have any questions or concerns. We look forward to providing this service to you and the Charlotte Mecklenburg community.