Hamilton Police Service announces partnership with MedicAlert Foundation Canada
Hamilton, Ontario (November, 2015) – Chief Glenn De Caire of the Hamilton Police Service and Robert Ridge, President and CEO of MedicAlert Foundation Canada, announced a new partnership today that will provide Hamilton police officers with direct access to personal and caregiver information relating to some of Hamilton’s most vulnerable citizens through their MedicAlert ID bracelets. This will benefit citizens who are prone to wandering away from their environment regardless of age – children and adults living with autism, seniors affected by dementia, and others living with cognitive disorders.
In an emergency, this new service, called MedicAlert Connect Protect, gives police officers direct 24-hour access to a registered MedicAlert member’s photo, identity and medical information through their MedicAlert ID. Connect Protect helps officers conduct their search more efficiently, ensuring those who have gone missing are reunited with their loved ones sooner.
Today’s announcement marks the second partnership of this kind in Canada and demonstrates the growing desire for police services to unite innovative healthcare technology and policing techniques in order to ensure that the community’s most vulnerable people are protected.
“Many of us have witnessed firsthand the impact a wandering incident has upon the community,”
says Chief Glenn De Caire. “When one of our citizens goes missing, whether it be an autistic child or senior living with dementia, it’s imperative to equip our officers with data in real-time. Connect Protect does just this - providing those who are most at risk of wandering, with a new level of protection. This partnership will help us reunite our city’s most vulnerable with their loved ones in a more efficient and safe manner.”
“It’s critical that we’re able to find people as quickly and efficiently as possible, both to protect those most vulnerable and also to save police resources,” explains Robert Ridge, President and CEO of MedicAlert. “When someone wanders away, the stress and worry on their families and caregivers is enormous, along with the fear and stress experienced by the person themselves. Our partnerships with regional police services protect vulnerable loved ones and provide peace of mind to families. We are working proactively to encourage all Canadian police agencies and first responders to follow Hamilton Police Services lead and work alongside MedicAlert to help speed up their ability to get people home safely.”
The program works two ways. Once registered with MedicAlert's membership service plan, a person receives a body worn MedicAlert ID, in the form of a bracelet, necklace, sports band or watch, which features a unique engraved MedicAlert ID number. If this person wanders, their caregiver can call police with the ID number. Via a link with MedicAlert’s up-to-date database, the officer can instantly access descriptive information and even data about past wandering tendencies, helping locate the wandering individual. Secondly, when a lost or non-communicative person is found wearing their MedicAlert ID, police will be able to access MedicAlert’s database, immediately identifying and reuniting them with their loved ones faster.
‘Wandering is one of the most high-risk behaviours experienced by our aging population, especially in those who are aging with a cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s disease,” says Alzheimer Society of Hamilton Halton CEO, Mary Burnett. “This new partnership between MedicAlert and the Hamilton Police Service will help to mitigate the risks associated with wandering and help return disoriented individuals safely home to their caregivers”.
For more information about MedicAlert and the MedicAlert Connect Protect service , please visit: www.medicalert.ca/connectprotect.
Hamilton Police Service
Cst Kim Walker
Missing Person Coordinator
MedicAlert Foundation Canada
Manager, Marketing, Communications and Donations
416-696-0142 ext 1146