The Travis County, Texas, Sheriff's Office and the city of Temple will launch Project Lifesaver this spring to help track and locate people who wander away from home or care facility and become lost. According to an article in today's Austin American Statesman, the system will use a wireless transmitter secured to the wrist of at-risk individuals. The device -- manufactured by EmFinders -- can be tracked by its signal if the person is missing, and is located through cell phone towers.

According to information on the Project Lifesaver Web site, the organization was established in April 1999 as an initiative of the 43rd Virginia Search and Rescue Company of the Chesapeake, Va., Sheriff's Office, and is built on the work of the Stokes County, N.C., Mountain Rescue program which pioneered the use of special equipment and procedures to locate lost and wandering patients.

A person who wanders away from a facility or home can require many hours of law enforcement work, and locating someone quickly is sometimes difficult. According to the Austin American Statesman article, each device costs about $300, and helps locate the person within a mile.

Wayne Hanson  |  Senior Executive Editor, Center For Digital Government