Putnam Project Lighthouse
Published December 8th, 2015
PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- Finding a needle in a haystack would be so much easier if the needle had GPS. Now members of a non-profit group in Putnam County are providing GPS tracking bracelets to people who have a history of wandering away.
It's something that could have ultimately helped Columbia County sheriff's deputies find Mary Rhodes Robertson earlier this year. Robertson suffered from dementia.
Leigh Merryday Porch's 6-year-old son Callum has classic autism. She says there have been a number of times where he's wandered off. Merry day Porch is involved in the special needs community and last year, started a non-profit to help families with members who have mental disabilities.
"I'm a blogger and it seemed like every single week I kept being sent stories of children who had wandered off,” Porch says.
With the help of the Putnam County school board and sheriff's office, Porch's non-profit "Putnam Project Lighthouse" funds these wearable tracking devices for those who have a history of wandering away and are unable to find their way back home. Callum is the first in Putnam County to get one of these bracelets.
"So excited to have it on him and have that peace of mind,” Porch says.
Putnam County sheriff's detective Jared Guy says the bracelets can be tracked with direction finders or receivers. They have three of them, one in each district office, each costing $1,500 dollars.
"The next goal is to find that person we need to put that bracelet on, because we did this for a reason. There's a reason it came together so fast. There's somebody we have to out a bracelet on,” Detective Guy says.
Porch says this is something she really wanted to happen not just for her son, but for others as well, and she hopes other communities will join the fight to help those families dealing with this illness.
If you'd like to purchase this equipment for a loved one or other lifesaver equipment, you can call 386-329-0538 or visit http://www.putnamprojectlighthouse.org/
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