Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $111,529)
The Santa Rosa Police Department seeks to implement a comprehensive program to aid in law enforcement efforts to safely locate missing persons in the City of Santa Rosa, specifically those at greater risk of going missing due to Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and developmental disabilities including autism.
If awarded, the Santa Rosa Police Department will procure the VITALS mobile application for the entire 254 person department and fund designated program staff to conduct community outreach to grow program impact and provide community education on the program. The VITALS app offers an invaluable resource to law enforcement and creates a way for responding officers and staff to receive critical information about an individual’s specific needs and conditions in real-time – enabling safer interactions and positive outcomes. VITALS is the only digital medical ID shared with first responders which reduces the risk of misunderstandings during medical or mental health emergencies.
Every year, many individuals, including children and the elderly, go missing in the City of Santa Rosa after walking away from their homes, parents, or caretakers. Vulnerable individuals with cognitive impairments, developmental disabilities, and diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s are at high risk for becoming lost and disoriented if they are alone and wandering the city.
Through the app, program participants and their caretakers can share critical information such as disabilities and conditions, allergies, behavior triggers, de-escalation techniques, medications, emergency contact info and more with 911 dispatchers and first responders.
With program funding, Santa Rosa Police will purchase the VITALS app for 3 years and hire a part time program staff who, for the duration of the program, will manage community outreach and education efforts. This program will bridge critical gaps in police responses to calls with the community’s most vulnerable individuals and benefit their families and caretakers immensely. It is the ultimate goal of the Santa Rosa Police Department to use this program to enhance partnerships with the community and ensure safety, care, and quality response for the City of Santa Rosa.