Roanoke Valley Police seeing increased demand for Project Lifesa - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke Valley Police seeing increased demand for Project Lifesaver

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Roanoke City and Roanoke County Police have both seen an increase in demand for their "Project Lifesaver" programs in recent years.

Each program places tracking devices on people who are cognitively impaired.

Roanoke City Crime Prevention Specialist, Travis Akins, says he gets calls almost every week from someone asking to join the program.

The problem is, there is currently a wait list.

The average wait is about six months.

Akins says its frustrating at times as many people that contact him need help immediately and can't afford to buy their own bracelet.

Roanoke County also has a long wait list.

However, with no government funding supporting the program, it's not possible for the departments to help everyone in need.

Both departments predict that demand is only going to increase in the next couple of years as the baby boomers age.

Roanoke County Crime Prevention Coordinator, Rick Crozier, says the department may have to start charging fees if demand becomes too great.

Fearful that many people who really need the program will be deterred by the cost, Crozier says,"I see how the families, what a positive impact it has on them, the confidence it instills in them and to see that go by the wayside due to lack of funding I would hate to see."

Right now neither department has plans to switch over to a fee system. Both are trying to come up with alternative ways to raise money.

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