Belmont police launch GPS tracker program for residents with cognitive disabilities

in Community

Belmont police are encouraging the city’s residents to take advantage of a new program that provides GPS tracking units to families with loved ones suffering from cognitive memory disorders or developmental impairments, such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia or Autism.

The Belmont Police Department Tracking & Recovery of Adults & Children program (Belmont T.R.A.C.), announced earlier this year, provides a Samsung SmartThings Tracker to families that works with the SmartThings app. When the lightweight, water-resistant tracker enters or leaves zones created by family members, automatic alerts will be given. The tracker, small enough to fit in a pocket, runs on a battery that can typically last four to five days.

The tracker is provided free of charge for the first year and then costs $5/month or $50/year to maintain the network service.

The new program is dedicated to Belmont resident and dementia sufferer Paul Farmer, who went missing in August of 2019 and remains missing to this day. A study reported in the International Journal of  Geriatric Psychiatry found that 40 percent of people with dementia get lost, and 5 percent get lost repeatedly, according to Belmont police.

“Mr. Farmer’s disappearance has been a tragic loss for his family and our community,” Belmont police Chief Tony Psaila said. “We want to ensure to the maximum extent possible that this never happens to anyone again.”

For more information, residents are asked to contact Lt. Ken Stenquist at (650) 595-7400, or visit here.