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Law Enforcement

Project Lifesaver will help find at-risk individuals who wander in the western UP

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HANCOCK, MI— The western U.P. now has a program to assist law enforcement in finding missing “at-risk” individuals.

On Monday, representatives from the Baraga, Houghton, Keweenaw and Ontonagon County sheriff’s offices introduced Project Lifesaver. The program will be a partnership between the four offices and Superior Search and Rescue. Project Lifesaver International will equip officials with technology and training to better understand the cognitive conditions and behaviors of some who wander.

The program is funded through grants from the Portage Health Foundation. It will provide 50 families with Radio Frequency Transmitters, to be worn by individuals prone to wandering. The partner agencies will have antennas to receive signals from the transmitter when a call is made.

This past April more than 500 volunteers helped law enforcement search for 17-year-old Cam Besonen of Paulding, who had autism. The teen’s body was later found.

Officials say the new technology will help searchers find missing people far more quickly.