Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $150,000)
Hudson County, New Jersey plans to close both a “training gap” and a “technology communication gap” that currently exist within its jurisdiction with regard to supporting individuals who are prone to wandering or elopement. The first main activity will be to provide training to all law enforcement entities in the county; the second activity will be to expand the County’s existing AngelSense technological capacities to ensure that all individuals seeking such devices can readily receive them. This project is of particular importance in Hudson County due to its unique, densely populated urban geography that is nearly completely surrounded by large-scale federal waterways (Hudson River, Hackensack River, Newark Bay, and Passaic River). Comparable to New York City, individuals who wander within Hudson County’s jurisdiction have a heightened vulnerability to experience drowning at any end of the County’s borders, as compared to most other places state or nationwide. The goal of the County is to take a person-centered approach to this issue, involving three critical county departments (Prosecutor’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Disability Services) as well as multiple local advocacy nonprofit groups that work with families and individuals suffering from dementia and/or developmental disabilities (Act Now Foundation, Heightened Independence & Progress, and United Cerebral Palsy of Hudson County). To achieve its deliverable activities, the County will plan to partner with training providers and an outside evaluator (all to be determined via open public bid), as well as to expand its existing contract with AngelSense.