By Eden Laikin
Nassau County will re-launch and expand its R.E.A.C.H. Program (Return Every Adult & Child Home), thanks to a $6,000 grant from the Nassau County Police Department Foundation, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano announced today.
The grant will fund the purchase of 5,000 wristbands, lanyards and identification cards to assist officers in identifying individuals registered in the R.E.A.C.H. Program.
Speaking before a crowd at Police Headquarters in Mineola, County Executive Mangano urged citizens who have a relative with a cognitive disorder to partake in an April 20th registration event. There, they could secure a wristband, lanyard and identification card to assist officers in locating their family member should they go missing. The event will take place from 9am to Noon at the Police Academy, 200 2nd Ave. in Massapequa Park.
“It’s for those residents whose family members may be unprotected if they were to get lost or wander from their homes or safe places,” Mangano said. “The new wristbands, lanyards and identification cards are easily identifiable and will assist police officers in locating and returning missing individuals to their families.”
Kathy Kammerer joined Mangano at today’s announcement, recalling her own ordeal when her husband, who she registered in R.E.A.C.H., was found in Sunrise Mall, barefoot. Because he had no REACH ID or registration item with him, it took 2 hours before police tracked her down. That will be avoided with the new identification.
The R.E.A.C.H. Program was created in 2010 to serve as a database for law enforcement officials to obtain information and photos of individuals suffering from cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimers disease, dementia or autism. Citizens with relatives with cognitive disorders can register their loved ones in the data base with the NCPD. Their information and photo is stored and should they go missing it is immediately disseminated throughout the law enforcement operations in the County.