Officials test tracking devices for missing people


The Durham County Sheriff's Office gets several calls a year about missing adults and children. Now, a new tracking device could reunite the missing with their families faster and safely.

At first glance, it looks like something from a sci-fi movie.

"We'll actually look for the signal. We're trained as far as what we're looking for," said Kim Lane, with the Durham County Sheriff's Office.

For some Durham County families, it's a lifesaver.

"It's a program designed to locate missing individuals with cognitive impairments, missing children, or adults with autism or Alzheimer's -- often the subject of silver alerts," said Lane. "Typically, these are folks that tend to have patterns of wandering, wandering away from their caregivers. So this is what we've done to handle some of those problems when we get those calls."

Similar to a wrist watch or an armband, a transmitter with a special code is attached and tested daily for its frequency.

"This is constantly giving off a signal," said Lane. "If we're notified, we need to locate this individual. We're given a certain area where individual was last seen. We would respond."

The tracking device can be located as far as a mile away, which could save law enforcement time and resources and families so much more.

"Most importantly, an everyday peace of mind that that gives a lot of folks," said Lane. "You can be the best caregiver in the world, but there are limitations to what you're able to do 24-hours a day."

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