Summit County and Lakewood turn on useful digital tool when searching for missing people with disabilities

Summit County and Lakewood turn on useful digital tool when searching for missing people with disabi

GREEN, OH (WOIO) - The search for a missing, autistic 2-year-old boy ended in the best way possible as the little boy was found asleep in a car at a neighbor’s home just a few houses down the street.

The little boy was reported missing just after 1:30 a.m. on Monday morning, and was found around 9 a.m.

Some communities, including Summit County, have police-sponsored databases that can be an enormous help to law enforcement during a missing person case.

The Summit County Prosecutor’s office and the Summit County Sheriff’s Department have worked together to build a database, called Take Me Home, which includes information about residents who are at risk of not being able to find their way home.

Residents in the database include autistic people, or those who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Lakewood has built a database of their own that focuses on autistic children and provides information to officers to help navigate what could be a difficult call to a home where an autistic child lives, or in the case of a missing person with autism.

“The more information we have responding to a call, the better the outcome can be,” said Captain Gary Stone of the Lakewood police department.

Officers in Lakewood have instant access to the information they may need through their in-car computers, and there is little doubt it can be life saving information.

“That will help us to understand how we respond, how we talk to a person, how they may react when they talk to us,” Stone said.

Registration for the databases can be done online.

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