RANTOUL — The Rantoul Police Department is getting closer to the amount of money needed for the purchase of equipment to begin a Project Life Saver program.

Lt. Justin Bouse said an additional $2,500 is needed to buy the equipment for the program that makes it easier for emergency personnel to track compromised individuals who have wandered off.

“I’m hoping for one other grant from the Alzheimer Foundation,” Bouse said. “If I could get it completely funded through grants, that would be ideal.”

Jim Nelson and police officers

Jim Nelson of Country Financial, Rantoul, presents a check for $1,500 to Rantoul police Lt. Justin Bouse, center, and Police Chief Tony Brown. The money will go toward the department’s Project Life Saver program. (Provided)

Bouse said he is hoping to secure the funding within the next couple of months with training possible during the summer, provided the COVID-19 quarantine has been lifted.

Country Financial agent Jim Nelson recently donated the second of two $1,500 checks to the department toward the project.

“The idea is to make money available (to help) people like autistic and dementia patients who have a tendency to walk away and get lost,” Nelson said.

“The whole idea (of the Country Financial program) is to do things to help the police force and help our community in general.”

The equipment will include a receiver and bracelets to be worn by individuals. Training would teach personnel how to put the bracelet on a person, how to change batteries, how to use the receiver as well as how to locate people.

“What really drove the start of  the program was we had a missing autistic male from Southpointe and we also had a girl with Down Syndrome who’s gone missing” in the past, Bouse said.

There was also a resident of Eagle’s View retirement community that went missing.

One individual, who was wearing only a light jacket, went missing in inclement weather. About 4 1/2 hours later, he was located by a state police helicopter using a thermal-imaging unit.

dhinton@rantoulpress.com