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Madden/Sweeney Measure To Help Police Locate Lost Alzheimer’s Patients Advances In Committee

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Fred H. Madden and Stephen M. Sweeney that would create training guidelines and require State and local law enforcement officers to work in conjunction with the national Safe Return program to help locate lost Alzheimer’s patients was approved today by the Senate Law, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs committee.

“Disorientation is a dangerous side effect of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “Losing a family member can be one of the scariest experiences in the world for both those suffering with Alzheimer’s and for their loved ones. As a former State Police officer, this training is necessary to teach police how to safely recover lost Alzheimer’s patients and return them to their families.”

The Senators’ measure, S-2185, would instruct the Department of Law and Public Safety to work with the national Safe Return program to establish training protocol for police to follow to help recover lost Alzheimer’s patients.

The policy would include a blueprint outlining the methods Safe Return uses for identifying, communicating with and caring for disoriented Alzheimer’s patients.

Safe Return is a national program designed to work with local law enforcement agencies to help locate and return lost Alzheimer’s patients to their families and care givers.

“Debilitating diseases like Alzheimer’s can render its victims helpless if they become lost,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Cumberland Gloucester and Salem. “It is important that law enforcement officers are trained to recover these individuals and make sure they are safely returned home.”

This measure now heads to the full Senate.

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