Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $150,000)
Using $150,000 in funding from BJA FY 2021 Kevin and Avonte Program: Reducing Injury and Death of Missing Individuals with Dementia and Developmental Disabilities, the Brockton Police Department (BPD) will create a comprehensive person-centric program using Project Lifesaver technology and outreach to assist Brockton residents with cognitive conditions.
The Loved One LinkUp project will initially protect up to 100 individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia and those with developmental disabilities in the City of Brockton, who are in danger of wandering, by providing them with Project Lifesaver locative bracelets upon request. Seven patrolmen and one supervisor will attend Project Lifesaver “Train the Trainer” classes so they can then educate the department’s sworn officers and civilian cadets in the use of the technology, strategically developed search and rescue techniques, and behaviors and characteristics common to cognitive conditions.
Working with the Brockton Council on Aging, Old Colony Elder Services, Brockton Public Schools, Signature Healthcare, Steward Healthcare, Brockton Neighborhood Health, and the Brockton Housing Authority, the BPD will promote Loved One LinkUp using word of mouth, social media, and an informative brochure distributed at the above agencies as well as City Hall, the Brockton Public Library, and doctors’ offices. Posters will be placed on community bulletin boards at grocery stores and on Brockton Area Transit buses. This committee will also develop a resource directory and develop caregiver support protocol.
Trained officers will outfit individuals accepted into the program with Project Lifesaver bracelets and teach them and their caregivers about proper usage along with wandering prevention and coping techniques. A complete profile including current picture and personal details such as places they like to visit will be created and uploaded to a custom BPD Loved One LinkUp map instantly accessible to any officer-linked computer or phone. This profile will be created with BPD-customized Project Lifesaver questionnaires completed using grant-purchased laptops.
Officers and cadets will use the mandatory bi-monthly battery replacement visit to engage with the participant and their caregiver(s), ensuring that all necessary services are in place or referring them to resources when appropriate. With this outreach, officers will also build trust with participants, so that should there be an elopement, the participant will be more likely to go with the officer. This way, Loved One LinkUp will protect participants while preserving their personal independence and supporting caregivers by providing outreach and a link to essential services.