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Rutherford Families Get Peace Of Mind For Those Who Wander

An interview with Rutherford Police Chief John Russo about Safely Back Home.
An interview with Rutherford Police Chief John Russo about Safely Back Home. Video Credit: Safely Back Home

RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Imagine a loved one wanders off and he doesn't have the ability to tell someone who he is or where he lives?

This is the nightmare some families live with on a regular basis.

Thanks to a new database operated out the Rutherford Police Department, participants can keep tabs on people who wander due to autism, Alzheimer's or any cognitive disability.

"Safely Back Home," was introduced in the borough in August and is for all families with a member who tends to stray due to autism, Alzheimer's or any cognitive disability, said the company's President Paul Jetter.

The program is already in place in New Milford, North Arlington, Garfield, Dumont and Mahwah

Families are able to enroll at their police station at no cost, he said.

Participants can bring in personal garments of people at risk and have them imprinted with a unique identification number. Police have a phone number coordinated with the imprint to call if the person lost is found. Imprinted garments are free for first three; $12 each additional.

"Once we've become a 501c3 Non-Profit, we hope to have the garment imprinting subsidized through donations and sponsors," said Jetter.

The garments are additional safety tools, which help enable the concerned public and law enforcement to assist in the rescue of lost missing individuals.

The idea is to quickly identify the lost person and reunite them with their families, and provide additional peace of mind for parents and caregivers, Jetter said.

"Families have told us they do have greater peace of mind with their children wearing the garments."

Jetter said the hope is to offer the program throughout Bergen County in the near future, and continue expanding to other counties in New Jersey and beyond.

For information about the Safely Back Home program, click here.

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