Project: Guardians is a community program developed by the Riley County Police Department in an effort to help officers on patrol as well as community members, including children, who may need special assistance in the event they are found to be alone, to have wandered away from home or their primary place of care, or in an emergency. This program is designed to help the department provide an appropriate and adequate response to members of the community who are unable to communicate, properly identify themselves, or could be found disoriented or acting in a manner that could be misunderstood by emergency responders.
Project: Guardians is a program intended to better serve those in the community with cognitive disorders, Autism and Alzheimer's (as well as other forms of dementia) in Riley County and began in April 2016 which fell within Autism Awareness Month.
Project: Guardians is a private and secured database located within the records of the Riley County Police Department and includes a digital picture, personal and contact information, and ways to get in contact with a caregiver. RCPD suggests that caregivers update these records on an as-needed or annual basis.
If a police officer encounters a participant in the Project: Guardians program, the officer can search the database and retrieve important care and contact information. The information made available to officers could include special circumstances or obstacles such as the participant having trouble communicating or the participant not wishing to be touched as well as trigger words and more. Police and emergency responders will also have access to important messages from caregivers such as the participant having an attraction to certain places including bodies of water, wooded areas, or parks. Ways to improve communication with the participant can also be included in this database. Adult participants must agree to participate in the program unless there is a legal guardian able to make decisions on their behalf enrolling them.
The Riley County Police Department would like to thank the Pensacola, Florida Police Department for their expertise and assistance in the development of this program as well as local partners whose input has helped to mold this program into a useful community tool. For more information on this program contact the Communications Manager or the Public Information Officer of the Riley County Police Department.
For administrative inquiries about this program, email Project Guardians at RCPD or contact Corporal Joseph Ehrlich.