OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — A missing child can be a parent's worst nightmare. Thanks to a new joint program between the Omaha Police Department and the Autism Action Partnership, a missing child with autism was located within eight minutes of their initial response.
On Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 3:56 p.m. officers responded to the area of 29th and Ohio regarding a missing autistic 12-year-old male. The caller advised that her son was enrolled in Project Lifesaver. At 4:02 p.m. an officer with a Project Lifesaver receiver responded to the area and got a notification that the missing juvenile was within a quarter mile of his location. The officer located the juvenile near 30th Street at 4:04 p.m. The officer transported the juvenile home and reunited him with his mother.
The Omaha Police Department partnered with the Autism Action Partnership beginning in July of this year to implement Project Lifesaver training. Families began enrolling in Project Lifesaver in September. This incident marks the first successful use of Project Lifesaver by OPD and demonstrates its effectiveness and value to our citizens. Senior Director of Programs for the Autism Action Partnership, Michaela Ahrens said "Autism Action Partnership is grateful to be working with OPD on a program that brings peace of mind to many members of the autism community." Project Lifesaver bracelets are still available to those with autism who are prone to wandering from safe settings. Please contact Autism Action Partnership at (402) 763-8830 for more information about how to enroll.