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Framingham Police and Fire Department SafetyNet Locative Device and Search and Rescue UAS Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $122,725)

Ensuring the safety and well-being of our neighbors who suffer from Alzheimer's, Autism, and other cognitive disabilities is a priority for the Framingham Police and Fire Departments' Emergency Management Team (EMT). Location tracking, search and rescue, and manpower multiplication are essential to life-saving operations, so tracking technology such as SafetyNet and Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) should be prioritized. 

In Framingham, the at-risk population exceed the state of Massachusetts averages. Our school system is home to 276 students who are considered at-risk due to cognitive conditions that increase their likelihood of becoming missing persons. Furthermore, our elderly population suffering from Alxheimers is estimated to be 16.6%, higher than the Commonwealth of Massachusetts average of 13.6%. Framingham is home to many developmental disability care centers. With the concentration of services comes the risk that persons may elope or become endangered through no fault of their own. Research has shown that six in 10 people with dementia will wander, and children with autism are similarly at risk to elope. This frightening occurrence can be dangerous to the individual and incredibly stressful for their family. 

To address this concern, the EMT, with an award of $122,724.79 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Kevin and Avonte Program, seeks to (1) significantly expand the implementation of SafetyNet technology throughout the city, especially those areas of the city considered Qualified Opportunity Zones, by providing 225 SafetyNet Location Tracking services to at-risk residents of the city and (2) acquire search and rescue UAS platforms to ensure complete searches that allow the best possible chance at a positive outcome. 

SafetyNet is a proven solution to providing a person-centered approach that minimizes restrictive interventions and has a direct link to individuals and families of individuals with forms of dementia or developmental disabilities. UAS platforms will be purchased from Autel Robotics of Bothell, WA. In combining with SafetyNet and UAS systems, the EMT believes that an award of $122,724.79 from the Bureau of Justice Assistance's Kevin and Avonte Program will provide the City of Framingham a cost-effective, industry-proven, cross-platform search and rescue capability that will serve to reduce and prevent the injur and death of individuals, especially those who have Alzheimers and Autism.

Date Created: November 4, 2021