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New video shows police locate missing person through Project Lifesaver wristband

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A new video released by police in York Region shows officers locating a missing man with the help of a tracking wristband.

The aerial video was taken from the York Regional Police helicopter as officers tracked the pings emitted by the 69-year-old man’s wristband, which he was issued as part of an international program known as Project Lifesaver.

In the video, an officer can be heard saying “FYI, project lifesaver is going off…” as he directs officers in a cruiser to a TTC bus near the intersection of Finch Avenue and McCowan Road.

“Strong signal on that bus. Check that bus,” the officer says.

Moments later another officer replies “Got him.”

“Let’s go!” another officer exclaims.

The missing man was wearing a Project Lifesaver wristband, which emits a tracking signal for law enforcement, fire and rescue and caregivers to quickly locate vulnerable individual when needed.

A number of GTA police services are part of Project Lifesaver, including York, Halton and Peel.

Since being founded in 1999, the program has helped over 4,000 people be found.

Speaking with CP24 on Friday, Sgt. Andy Pattenden said that there are over 50 registered program participants in the York Region.

“[Participants] are outfitted with one of these bracelets that need to be maintained fairly regularly, but as soon as they go missing, once we get the call that they go missing, we can then deploy the antennas throughout the region and try and track down where the person has gone,” Pattenden said.

In this instance, the man had walked 12 kilometers from the point where he was last seen. That’s why the use of the helicopter, in addition to crews on the ground, was paramount, he said.

Earlier this week, another Toronto-area senior had gone missing for more than two days before being spotting by a crossing guard in Leslieville on Thursday afternoon.

Toronto police leaned into technology to find him as well, as he was captured on camera walking outside about 20 kilometers from his North York home.

Pattenden said that when it comes to missing persons cases, time is of the essence. He advises getting wristbands for family members and loved ones who qualify under the vulnerable persons criteria.

“I definitely encourage anyone in York Region to have a look at the program, get involved in the program and get your loved one connected with one of these wristbands so that in the event that they do leave wherever they’re staying, it really does help us track them down, and when we have cases of extreme weather, time is of the essence,” he said. “Having these wristbands and being able to track them, minutes count and this program does save lives.”

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