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Oshkosh police offer GPS-tracking options for special needs

Local News

Knowing where your kids are at any given time can be a challenge. And when a loved one has special needs, it’s a little harder to prevent them from wandering.

“Everybody loves him,” said Carla Bethke, a resident of Oshkosh. “He’s a very happy boy. But he is non-verbal. And he does like to walk away.”

Ever since his earliest years, Hunter’s liked to explore.
The 15-year-old is an athlete, a student at Oshkosh West High School, and has Down’s syndrome.

“My son actually walked out of the house four times,” she said. “Not the middle of the night, but early morning hours and was always picked up by the police.”

His mother eventually found AngelSense–a GPS tracker that allowed her and her son to have a little bit more freedom.

“Oh, my gosh. It has made a world of difference,” said Bethke. “It does give you a peace of mind to know where your child’s at.”

In freezing temperatures, the odds of surviving plummet 50 percent. And that’s why Oshkosh police have their own options.

“Project Lifesaver is a radio-frequency locating system for people who have a diagnosis that involves a risk of wandering like dementia, autism, Down’s syndrome,” said Todd Wrange, Sgt. of Patrol with the Oshkosk Police Department.

As long as your loved one has a 24/7 caretaker, they’re eligible for 24/7 tracking from Oshkosh police.

“They don’t have to worry so much that if their loved one wanders, that we can’t find them quickly because now they understand the technology’s there. We have the training, the technology on our end to quickly return their loved ones to them.”

Project Lifesaver tracking devices can be purchased at the Oshkosh Police Department.

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