KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (USDOJ.Today) United States Attorney J. Douglas Overbey of the Eastern District of Tennessee announced today that $150,000 was awarded in Department of Justice grant to address reducing injury and death of missing individuals with dementia and developmental disabilities in the County of Franklin, Tennessee.
The Reducing Injury and Death of Missing Individuals with Dementia and Developmental Disabilities program supports local jurisdictions’ efforts to reduce the number of deaths and injuries of individuals with forms of dementia, such as Alzheimer’s disease or developmental disabilities, such as autism who, due to their condition, wander from safe environments.
“At most stages of dementia, a person can become disoriented or confused of where they are. Dementia impairs judgment and problem-solving skills, and many caregivers struggle to manage how to best care for their loved ones. This funding will help provide much needed search tools to help agencies to locate vulnerable individuals who have wandered away from their communities,” said U.S. Attorney Overbey.
Kevin and Avonte’s Law, enacted in 2018, authorized BJA to support local efforts to address this public safety challenge by providing grants to health care agencies, law enforcement, and other public safety agencies, and, additionally for Category 1, nonprofit organizations that (1) implement locative technologies to track missing individuals, and/or (2) develop or operate programs to prevent wandering, increase individuals’ safety, and facilitate rescue.
The Partnership for Franklin County Prevention Coalition and its collaborative partners, the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Coffee County Circuit Courts; Coffee County District Attorney’s Office; Manchester Police Department; Franklin County Senior Citizen Center; and Franklin County Sheriff’s Office; and the Legal Aid of East Tennessee – Erlanger Health Law Partnership, will use this grant to fund law enforcement and public safety agencies to implement locative technologies to track missing individuals; and to such agencies and partnering nonprofit organizations to develop or operate programs to prevent wandering, increase individuals’ safety, and facilitate rescues.