Warren Township and the village of Gurnee are partnering on a program designed to help police locate at-risk children and adults with special needs who may become lost.
Care Trak uses radio telemetry technology to find the missing person wearing the specially equipped tracking bracelet. Officials say the missing person can be found in as little as 30 minutes.
"This helps our police department be much more efficient, and swiftly locate someone and spare the family a lot of trauma," Mayor Kristina Kovarik said during a news conference Thursday.
Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Crystal Lake, McHenry, are among several area suburbs that use the program.
The program is designed for children and adults with special needs, such as autism, Down syndrome, Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and would be unable to communicate their name or whereabouts if lost.
Care Trak is open to Warren Township residents who need care 24 hours a day and can provide a doctor's signature. Residents can call the Warren Special Recreation Association to inquire about buying a Care Trak transmitter kit.
The Warren Township Care Trak Program cost $10,000 for 10 transmitters, two receiver kits and police certification and training.
Six transmitters are available for purchase by township residents and four are used by police officers for training.
Currently, 12 police officers are trained for the program. More transmitters will become available depending on the demand.
The individual cost for a transmitter kit is $246. It includes the transmitter bracelet, case, battery and battery replacement tools. Financial assistance is also available for anyone who needs it to offset the price of the transmitter kit, officials said.
"The cost was minimal for the return. You cannot put a price on the life of a loved one if they get lost," Warren Township Supervisor Suzanne Simpson said.
The range of the tracking system is up to 1 mile on the ground and 5 miles in the air.
So far, one Gurnee parent has purchased a kit for her 6-year-old son.
"I hope that by us taking the initiative that it will spread to other communities in Lake County, because there is certainly an interest," Warren Township Administrator Ryan Johnson said.