'Traking' Device Helps Locate Missing People
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- When Patricia Osberg got lost after going for a walk due to her Alzheimer's, some local residents sought more information on a Colorado Life Trak Program that she was wearing to help ensure loved ones are safe.
The tracking device is created for elderly people who suffer from Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Children with autism can also be a part of the program.
Colorado Life Trak is a program that's offered by many sheriff's offices throughout the nation to help spot a missing person.
"A lot of times, what happens is they will go out for a walk and get disorientated, and then we'll have a missing person. That's when we will usually use that equipment to hunt for people in," said Chad Williams, community outreach deputy with the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.
Osberg was wearing a Colorado Life Trak device, which helps Mesa County sheriff's deputies locate a missing person by radio signal.
"We track them and find out where they are. A good general location and direction of the antenna will allow us to do more specific locating for them," said Williams.
As they're searching for a lost loved one, the closer they get to the transmitter, the louder the signal gets.
"It's gaining popularity. We've tripled the size of our clientele, I'd say over the last year, or year and a half," said Williams.
The device is worn 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is waterproof, but officials say it should only be used as a backup.
"If it's in more of a remote area with canyons and valleys and those types of things, it doesn't always necessarily work so well," said Williams.
Although the device didn't end up playing a major role in finding Osberg, officials say it's still a great tool to have.
"We talk to the families about that; it's certainly a backup system, not a primary system that I would use in an area like that. Here in the valley, and that's really more of what it was designed for, it works very well," said Williams.
About 15 people in the valley are currently a part of the program.
To find out if a loved one is eligible to sign up for the program call the Mesa County Sheriff's Office at 970-244-3350.