Framingham Police Receive $122,725 Grant For Search & Rescue Program

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FRAMINGHAM – The Framingham Police Department received a $122,725 grant from the Bureau of Justice Assistance Kevin and Avonte Program.

This program supports local jurisdictions’ efforts to reduce the number of deaths and injuries of individuals with forms of dementia or developmental disabilities who may wander from safe environments.

Framingham Police will utilize these funds for a multifaceted program that will provide high-risk residents with no-cost SafetyNet wristwatches, allowing family members to track their location. This will be coupled with the ability to initiate an Unmanned Aerial System operation within the joint Police and Fire Emergency Operations Team, revolutionizing search and rescue efforts.

“This is a great use of funds that will be used to assist some of our most vulnerable populations by utilizing state of the art technology. I want to thank the Bureau of Justice Assistance for recognizing the needs of our community and awarding us this grant,” said Framingham Police Chief Lester Baker.

In 2019, the Framingham Police and Fire Departments experienced 175 missing person cases – 42% of which were reported on weekends between the hours of 4 p.m. and midnight.

In addition to those persons officially entered into national databases as missing, Framingham Police also responded to 1,873 well-being checks and 605 attempts to locate an individual that same year.

A cooperative approach among the Police and Fire Departments, Framingham Elder Services, and Framingham Public Schools, will help ensure that at-risk residents become registered for one of the 225 SafetyNet GPS watches available through the grant.

Outreach will also focus on areas designated by the Census as Qualified Opportunity Zones.

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), commonly known as drones, provide unparalleled assistance to police and fire during rapidly evolving situations. The use of UAS gives operators the ability to search large areas during rescue and recovery operations, and allows a single operator to fulfill jobs that may require several officers using more traditional methods. Countless departments across the country have showcased their ability to end searches quickly and successfully with UAS platforms using their Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) to locate
people from above. UAS platforms optimize search and rescue operations in concert with officers on the ground and locative technology such as SafetyNet.


Above was a press release submitted to SOURCE media from Framingham Police.


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