GLADSTONE, Mo. — Gladstone Police have a new way of helping lost children or adults with special needs or difficulty communicating.
The police department launched its Take Me Home program Wednesday. It’s designed to help reunite the lost with their families by creating a database, specifically for individuals who can’t relay their own address or phone number.
“It’s tough,” said Gladstone community police officer Megan Blackburn. “Even if it’s a small child [or] an adult that’s completely confused about where they belong. It makes it very challenging [to reunite them with their families].”
The registry is voluntary. It allows family members to register an address, phone number, photograph and demographic information such as height, weight, hair color, eye color for those with Autism, Down Syndrome, Alzheimer’s, Dementia or any other special need.
Family members can also add specific information about the person, such as what he or she enjoys or dislikes to help officers further when they are trying to speak to that individual and find his or her home.
"We would not know this information unless it came from someone who knows the individual,” said Blackburn.
Gladstone Police are following in the footsteps of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, which implemented its program in 2011.
Johnson County has 499 individuals currently enrolled with 127 individuals signing up this last year.
"This will just be an added peace of mind for a family member, knowing that this resource is available if for some reason their loved one does vanish off or disappear without them knowing,” said Blackburn.