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Grant will support the expansion of Safetynet program

For Immediate Release : Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Release Number: 22-166



The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has been awarded a grant that will help keep our most vulnerable citizens safe.
The grant is awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs.  HCSO will now have $113,349 to use towards expanding services for HCSO’s Project Shield: Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Citizens. The project will provide funding over two years to purchase locative technology for individuals who qualify for the SafetyNet program but may not be aware of it or be able to afford it.  
SafetyNet is a program used by law enforcement agencies across the country and provides users with a bracelet that is powered by radio frequencies.  The bracelet is designed for those who are diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, autism, dementia, or other cognitive conditions.  SafetyNet is a critical tool used to help locate customers should they go missing.  The bracelet provides law enforcement GPS information to quickly find the missing individual.
"SafetyNet is a lifesaving tool for those individuals who are known to wander away from home," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "It provides that physical reinforcement and critical information our deputies need to locate someone who may be in harm's way quickly.
The funding will purchase approximately 195 wearable devices, and support training and associated travel for the HCSO Safety Net Team.  While setting up the device, team members will educate the individual or their caregiver about how the service works and how to change the battery to ensure the wearable device can always be found, if needed.  Team members will also work to establish rapport, observe the individual in their environment, and make them and their caregivers aware of additional services, if appropriate.
If the individual has no sense of danger and wanders away from their safe environment, the radio frequency technology in the Safety Net bracelet can be picked up by handheld radio frequency locator technology either on the ground or in the air with the HCSO Aviation Section.  The grant funding will provide a new emergency locator tracking kit for deputies. The kit is critical in identifying the radio frequency of the missing individual’s wearable device to reach them as quickly as possible.  Multiple emergency locator tracking kits can be used during a single search to locate an individual.
HCSO has an online tool that gives SafetyNet users and their caregivers an opportunity to update critical information such as photographs, new device ID numbers, and other identifying information.  A direct link can be found by visiting, and clicking on "Online Registration Services" under the "Services" tab.
“I encourage those who could benefit from SafetyNet to sign up for the program and then keep us updated on any important changes there may be in the future," said Sheriff Chad Chronister.  “In 2020 and 2021 there were nearly 2,000 calls for service for missing or endangered people, and an average of 80 street checks written per year to document individuals who may benefit from locative technology services.  These statistics show there is a continuous and consistent need for support for individuals who are missing and endangered within Hillsborough County, and we are grateful to receive funding to expand these services.”  
For caregivers who wish to sign their loved ones up for SafetyNet, they can email or call the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office at (813) 247-8200.