RCPD's Project Guardian offers help for those with Alzheimers and Autism

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) — Riley County Police Officers are looking to add more members to its community program Project Guardian. The program can help people with Alzheimer and children with Autism who get lost find their loved ones.

Officer Sonia Gregoire patrols the streets of Riley County and knows not everyone may react to her the same way - that’s where Project Guardian can help.

“Project Guardian is a way for people within the community who have a child who may have special needs whether its autism, Asperger’s, or there just not able to speak or someone with dementia or Alzheimer. If they were to get up and get lost and not be able to find their way home you can register that person through the police department,” explained Gregoire.

Once enrolled, RCPD puts an up-to-date picture and contact information of the person into a database.

If they later become involved in an emergency, officers will have a heads up on how to approach them.

“We ask that you give us any triggers things they like and don’t like,” said Gregoire. “If they don’t like someone standing very close to them let us know that so we can make them as comfortable as possible and our goal is to help them get back home to their family.”

The program is free - and Gregoire says it’s a priceless safety net for those who need it.

“So if they get out and about and they can’t find there way home or there not able to verbalize to us where they live, their phone number, their parents name, or their name or if they were to get hurt - we’re able to contact that family member get them reunited,” explained Gregoire.

RCPD only has 20 people signed up for the program and urges anyone in need to register. For more information about the program go to http://www.rileycountypolice.org/guardians.