Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $149,733)
Baltimore County Police Department’s FY 2021 Reducing Injury and Death of Missing Individuals with Dementia and Developmental Disabilities (RIDM) Project establishes a proactive program using locative technology to reduce the number of deaths and injuries of individuals with forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, or developmental disabilities, such as autism, who, due to their condition wander from safe environments.
The objective of this 3 year project is to purchase and implement an effective locally based program that employs the use of non-invasive and non-permanent locative tracking technology for greater responsiveness to persons with forms of dementia or developmental disabilities who wander. Program participation is strictly voluntary, with guardians or parents making the determination that it is the least restrictive alternative for the quick location and safe return of disabled individuals who wander. The project expands upon the Police Department’s partnerships with local health care and supportive service agencies working with the elderly and persons with developmental and cognitive disabilities (including but not limited to the County’s Departments of Health and Aging, the non-profit Pathfinders for Autism, and the Department of Education), as well as community-based advocacy groups for vulnerable populations. The Department will maintain a program coordinating committee that includes these service agencies, community stakeholders, program participants or their representatives to give oversight to the project.
This RIDM project includes several components – all designed with a person-centered approach. A public awareness and outreach component using electronic communications, forums and distribution of educational materials will promote the understanding of efforts to locate and safely recover missing disabled persons who may wander, and explain the RIDM tracking program and practices, and its focus on the individual needs of each participant. A training component will educate police officers and responders on how to effectively and calmly intervene with participants experiencing behavioral crises. A program coordination component will employ regular meetings of a committee comprised of the Police Department, healthcare and service agencies, community members, participants and caregivers to ensure effective project implementation, and to identify needed pivots in planned activities.
The Department requests $149,732 in FY 2021 RIDM funding: a) to purchase a locative tracking system and supplies; b) to employ a Project Administrator; and c) to produce outreach materials to increase public awareness of the program.