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Project Lifesaver helps police find missing juvenile

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 11:02 PM CDT
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WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - “Anytime someone goes missing, there’s a critical hour, the time they leave, until the time they are found,” Sgt. Terry Styf with West Fargo Police Dept said. Every hour afterward, the likelihood of a safe recovery drops."

And West Fargo Police knew time was of the essence Monday night.

“A family member was going someplace and got to the location and the person took off,” Sgt. Styf said.

West Fargo officers were called to an area near the intersection of 45th Street South and 32nd Avenue South in Fargo to help look for a missing juvenile Monday evening.

They were able to use their technology to track that person for over a mile. The technology is part of the Project Lifesaver Program.

Luckily, the family was signed up through the West Fargo Police Department.

“It’s a wrist device or ankle device, and it’s really similar to a smartwatch,” Sgt. Styf said. “It puts out two different signals.”

If your child or someone has a condition where they tend to wander off, like autism, Down syndrome, or dementia, this program allows authorities to find them more quickly.

“If the person is to go missing, the minute the call comes into the dispatch center, the dispatch center can look up the name, see the alert, see the frequency that’s on the transmitter that’s on their wrist,” Sgt. Styf said.

In this case, police found the missing juvenile near a water pit in a constriction zone in the area of 3400 41st St. S.

“Right now pools are probably down to 60 degrees,” Sgt. Styf said. “Well, what I have learned is your body needs to be 98.7.”

Sgt. Styf says they were fortunate to find the person when they did and not hurt under such precarious situations thanks to Project Lifesaver.

Sgt. Styf says if you have someone in your home that likes to wander, don’t wait to sign up. Call your local law enforcement or North Dakota 211 to refer you to the correct resources for your area.

Copyright 2020 KVLY. All rights reserved.

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