The Orange County Sheriff’s Department this month has launched a regional registry to assist families and caregivers of those who have certain medical conditions, special needs or disabilities that may make communication with law enforcement difficult.
Take Me Home is a free program available to Lake Forest residents and others living in Sheriff’s Department jurisdiction that will assist those with dementia, Alzheimer’s, autism, Down syndrome or any developmental disability or medical condition that might impact an individual’s ability to effectively communicate.
The registry, which will be accessible only by law enforcement, will assist Sheriff’s Department personnel by maximizing search efforts and minimizing response time. The registry will allow critical information that could assist in locating the missing individual to be quickly disseminated to law enforcement. Information including emergency contact information, known routines and behaviors, calming techniques and an up-to-date photograph can be submitted to Take Me Home.
In addition, Take Me Home can serve as a tool to help Sheriff’s Department personnel in responding to calls for service. If making contact with a registrant in the field, at a care facility, or at a residence, deputies can better understand how to approach an individual with communication challenges.
“We are always looking for opportunities to enhance our ability to keep all residents safe and this registry is one way to do that. Families that have loved ones who need assistance in communicating with law enforcement can help us in providing information to Take Me Home,” said Sheriff Don Barnes. “If they are registered, families can know the Sheriff’s Department has a tool to assist in communicating with their loved one and bringing them home safely.”
Take Me Home was piloted in April in the cities of Laguna Niguel and Mission Viejo, with full implementation launching July 1. The Sheriff’s Department modeled its registry after San Diego’s Take Me Home and other similar programs utilized by law enforcement, including the Irvine Police Department’s Return Home Registry.
Learn more about the program here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDve_GCCfN0&feature=youtu.be