Doña Ana County



Doña Ana County Sheriff Juan Hernandez will accept a $1,000 donation from a local senior citizen group on Friday, boosting efforts of his Project Lifesaver program.

The Las Cruces Senior Citizens Corporation will present the check to Hernandez at the county Sheriff’s Department, located at 750 Motel Blvd. Suite A. The presentation will begin at 10 a.m. This is LCSCC’s second $1,000 donation since 2002.

The Project Lifesaver program is dedicated to the expeditious rescue of missing patients with dementia-related disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, who are prone to wandering. Hernandez started Project Lifesaver in 2002 with grant funding, with which he bought transmitting bracelets and a mobile receiver.

The sheriff’s department has since registered almost 40 clients. About 19 clients are currently wearing bracelets in the county. Maintenance and additional equipment has been paid for by grants and private donations from residents and civic organizations. The department has stationed an additional mobile receiver at its Las Cruces office.

Hernandez said a two- or three-day search is reduced to less than an hour with the aid of the tracking equipment. Use of the equipment reduces the need for extensive search and rescue operations that are extremely costly in both financial and human resources.

Hernandez said clients wear the bracelets only by the request or consent of families and caregivers. Other candidates may be patients with Down’s syndrome, autism, developmental disabilities, brain injuries or other conditions that make them especially vulnerable.

Each waterproof bracelet emits a specific frequency assigned to the client. When a client wanders and is missing, a Sheriff’s Department shift supervisor will arrive at the client’s last known location and follow the mobile receiver’s tracking beacon until the client is found. The mobile receiver can track a bracelet up to a two-mile radius on the ground, and up to a 10-mile radius from an aircraft.

For more information, call Grant A. Taylor, assistant to the director of public information, at (505) 647-7290. Anyone calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request extension 7290.