Local police say a new program is designed around the safety of citizens who are at risk to wander or have difficulty communicating.
The Shepherd program was launched April 2, or World Autism Awareness Day. Friendswood Police say the program is based on an earlier program put in place by the Deer Park Police Department.
Those who attend either mainstream or specialized schools, or attend child care or adult day care programs or camps for adults or children with Autism or Alzheimer’s are eligible to register for the program, which is a database that allows law enforcement to have access to critical information in advance of a missing person search. It is designed to help safely reunite families with participants, police said. The information collected is both critical in locating a missing person, and required by the State to launch a Silver or Endangered Missing Person Alert.
Participation is voluntary and free of charge, and the program is open to families with at-risk family members who reside in the home. Collected information is treated as confidential and kept secure in the police department’s communication center ,where it can be accessed immediately. The program has been designed to ensure the police department has up to date information and photographs of the most at-risk residents. Annual registration is required.
Information and applications for the Shepherd program can be obtained on the City website at www.ci.friends-wood.tx.us/shepherd-program or picked up from the Friendswood Police Department. Call 281-996-3300 for information.