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Cops and Courts

North Ridgeville police creating special-needs database in case of emergencies

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NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Next time someone with special needs goes missing in the city, North Ridgeville police aims to be more prepared.

The police department has launched a special needs and wandering alert form for residents with autism, dementia or other special needs that police, EMS and fire should be aware of.

People who fill out the form, which is available online, can provide information that will be useful to emergency personnel when they are looking for a missing person or dealing with a crisis.

Police Chief Mike Freeman said the form is about keeping people safe and finding them a little sooner if the need arises. He said it also gives parents and caregivers peace of mind.

The form will include information such as physical descriptions, emergency contact and known triggers and behaviors, which Freeman said is helpful to know if people have places they frequent or may go to if they are missing.

Residents who fill out the form also can include identification information, such as jewelry, tags, medical alert bracelet and an ID card. It has a space for good words to use and trigger words not to use, as well as calming ways to touch and favorite topics to talk about.

The police department said in a news release that the information could be crucial to defusing a crisis or finding a person who wandered away.

They plan to keep the forms updated, Freeman said, as appearances or other factors change.

The forms are available at the North Ridgeville police website or Facebook page.

Contact Laina Yost at 329-7121 or lyost@chroniclet.com.
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