BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Bay County Sheriff’s Office is reminding residents of two free resources it offers to help track children with autism and adults with dementia.
BSCO announced they received scent preservation kits in September. They still have over 900 available at no cost to caregivers.
“Right now, if someone is a caregiver, they worry about that person getting out. This is a way to give them a little peace of mind,” Ruth Corley, BSCO public information officer, said.
The jars provide a clear, concentrated place for someone’s scent to be.Without the kit, an article of clothing or pillowcase is given to the dog to get the scent.
“It’s very easy for an article like that to be contaminated with someone else in the home. Someone else may have slept on that pillow, and that could confuse the dog. [It] doesn’t give us the best opportunity to find that person,” Corley said.
BSCO K9s were the first in Florida to receive special training to use the jars to track a missing person.
Corley says the jars haven’t been used to track a missing person in Bay County yet, but they have been used to track suspects, sometimes even after they’re caught.
“[The dog] was able to track where that person had gone in their attempting to flee law enforcement and found some evidence that he had discarded along the way,” Corley said.
The deputy will take note of where in the home you store your kit, so if they respond to a home, that information will already be available on the computer.
In addition to the kits, BSCO has Project Lifesaver, which gives bracelets that emit a radio signal that law enforcement could track if someone goes missing. The bracelet’s batteries are replaced monthly for free by the sheriff’s office.
A sheriff’s deputy will come to your home for both programs to explain how they work.
If you are interested in getting a scent preservation kit or Project Lifeline bracelet, call the sheriff’s office at 850-747-4700 and ask for community services.