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New Sask. alert system to help locate missing vulnerable people

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WATCH ABOVE: MedicAlert is a service that’s been around since 1961, protecting over a million Canadians with their voluntary registry and giving police officers direct access to a photo and personal information – Oct 4, 2018

Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police and MedicAlert Foundation Canada are teaming up to make it easier locating lost or missing vulnerable people.

It’s part of a service that’s been around since 1961 and has proven to be effective.

MedicAlert helps protect over a million Canadians by giving police officers direct access to a photo and personal information.

“All that information would be critical in properly locating a person and getting them home as quickly as possible,” MedicAlert Foundation Canada president Robert Ridge said.

READ MORE: Edmonton becomes first city in Alberta to partner with MedicAlert to help vulnerable people

The personal information includes things like identity, physical descriptions: along with behavior and wandering history.

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Each MedicAlert subscriber will have a body-worn ID such as a bracelet, necklace or watch.

In order to be covered in the program you need to register.

“It’s shocking how far an individual can get going and you think you have a perimeter – they’re long past that perimeter. This is just one more avenue that we can use,” Chief Marlo Pritchard, Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police president, said.

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Police say it’s not uncommon to receive calls of someone walking in the middle of the street appearing to be disorientated.

They note it’s also helpful in identifying disabilities like Autism, Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

“Police officers can go up and down within moments and get some really important information on where they live, any medication they might have and family members – those types of things. Operationally, it’s very important,” Regina Police Service chief Evan Bray said.

READ MORE: New Silver Alert system for missing seniors yet to be used in Manitoba

Saskatchewan is the first province to include every police agency in the partnership with MedicAlert.

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Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police have donated $4,000 towards the program, which is being matched by MedicAlert.

That will pay for about 150 registrations, working out to a saving of $60 per individual.

Signup is available Wednesday night at the Autism Resource Centre in Regina from 5:30 to 7:30, and Thursday at the Saskatoon police station from 10 -5 p.m.

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