Sheriff's office seeks funding for Project Lifesaver

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Richmond's Sheriff gave an urgent plea Wednesday night, as he tries to raise money for a program that could help you or your family one day. It's called Project Lifesaver and although we've most recently heard about the tracking device project during the search for Robert Wood, it isn't just for people with Autism. It can help find the elderly, those with Alzheimer's, Dementia and other people who tend to wander.

It would be difficult not to feel for this mother's plight. Susan Derricott's daughter Jordan has Autism and roams. NBC12 introduced you to her in October, as she spoke about the decision to secure a GPS tracking device from Project Lifesaver on the 18-year-old girl.

"It's given me peace of mind," she explained. "I know that if anything happens within twenty minutes they'll be able to find her."

In his campaign to bring the technology to Richmond, Sheriff C.T. Woody put it simply.

"It saves lives," he said.

The GPS bracelet is attached to participants and if they get lost law enforcement can activate the signal. Woody believes the system is quicker than traditional search and rescue methods and could actually save money because it uses fewer resources.

"Your recovery rate is much greater," he told us. "All you do is beam in, set it and hey, you find 'em."

Next week, deputies will go for training on the specialized equipment, which will enable them to teach the rest of the department. The office has already raised the $6,000 start-up cost. And while City Council members and the Mayor's office have expressed support, Woody is relying on Richmonders to step up with donations and grants.

"Soon I hope that we will see signs all over the city that the City of Richmond is involved in Project Lifesaver because it saves lives," he said.

Richmond would also be able to partner with surrounding cities and counties, which are already using the technology.

If you want more information on the project and how you can help with funding, call 646-0222.

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