LCSO cuts ties with nonprofit assisting people with cognitive disabilities

A number of law enforcement agencies in Southwest Florida partner with a public safety nonprofit that is designed to protect people who have cognitive disabilities and can find themselves at risk. Questions were raised when a local agency decided to split from this nonprofit.

Lee County Sheriff’s Office recently chose not to renew its contract with Project Lifesaver, a program that helps locate people with cognitive disabilities if they wander off.

Barry Drury in Fort Myers lost his mother to Alzheimer’s disease over a year ago.

“She was okay for a while,” Drury said. “Then it got to the point where we found that she was driving around her car and didn’t know where she was going.”

Although Drury never used any location technology to aid in his mother’s care, he feels it likely would have helped.

“Her driving around in her car, not knowing where she was going [that technology] would have probably helped at one time,” Drury said.

Technology used by programs like Project Lifesaver have assisted in many cases involving people dealing with dementia, Alzheimer’s and autism. These types of program are vital tools for the Alvin A. Dubin Alzheimer’s Resource Center in Fort Myers.

Many police departments and sheriff’s offices in Southwest Florida consider it a valuable resource, such as in Collier County.

Project Lifesaver sent a statement to us that said it was disappointed LCSO ended its partnership with them.

LCSO has not responded to any of our questions about its decision to end its involvement in the program.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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