Westchester County is offering locator bracelets for children and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities whose families are looking for an extra layer of security.

The Project Lifesaver service began in January 2009 and is geared to children and young adults with autism and other developmental disabilities who are living with their families and who have a history or are at risk of wandering from their caregivers. The program is being run by the Westchester County Department of Community Mental Health and the Department of Public Safety, in partnership with Westchester Jewish Community Services. Families with a child or young adult with autism or another developmental disability can obtain a locator bracelet for their child so he/she can be located quickly and easily by the county police using the radio frequency device located in the bracelet.

In addition to the locator devices, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety has included autism awareness training for law enforcement recruits in its curriculum at the Police Training Academy.

It is recommended that interested families call WJCS at (914) 761-0600 prior to completing an application to determine if they meet the eligibility criteria. Once an application is completed, an intake appointment will be scheduled. The individual who will be wearing the bracelet must accompany caregivers to the intake appointment so the device can be placed on the wrist or ankle by WJCS staff.

Download the application.

The program requires battery changes every 60 days by WJCS staff and daily checks of the battery by the family/caregiver. The total cost for the first year is $325 per individual. That includes the application process, registration in the program, all battery changes, bands, and maintenance of the device.After that, the cost is approximately $85 a year.