You Should Know About This Service If You Have Vulnerable Family Members
The Ada County Sheriff's Office has developed a unique database. Because of how incredibly helpful it has proved to be for the vulnerable population in the Boise community, the database is attracting other agencies wanting to do the same thing.
The Ada County Sheriff's Office reports receiving a decent amount of calls about vulnerable people who are in distress or missing. This prompted them to create an online Ada Registry of Vulnerable Population (ARVP) so first responders have access to essential info as they respond to those calls.
The "vulnerable population" can include anyone from people who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, have documented mental health issues, or are dealing with other situations that can result in communication issues, like Autism Spectrum Disorder. This allows deputies and other first responders to address the specific needs of people on the registry if there is a call for service and/or get them home safely or if they're ever involved in a situation involving law enforcement.
A good example shared by the Ada County Sheriff's Office of this registry at work happened back in April.
"Dispatchers got a 911 call about a young teenage girl who appeared to be in distress while running down the middle of Apple Street — an arterial traffic-moving road in east Boise — just before 6:30 p.m. The girl appeared confused and wouldn’t talk to people trying to help her. Boise Police arrived and they tried talking to the girl, but they were struggling to connect too. Moments after they got the first 911 call, dispatchers checked the ARVP to see if the girl matched anyone on the list. They quickly figured out a 14-year-old girl matching the description who had a diagnosis on the autism spectrum lived a few blocks away. The registry had essential info on the girl’s behavior they were able to tell police – like how she was verbal but was really hard to communicate with; was non-violent but could easily be overwhelmed by noise; didn’t like being asked questions but would respond to calming declarations like “calm body, calm voice please”; and would respond to people being a little silly but not too loud. All that info went out to police while another dispatcher called the contact on the registry – the girl’s mother, who was frantically trying to figure out where her daughter was but hadn’t been able to call 911 yet. Dispatchers told the mom where her daughter was and what was happening. The police officer was able to successfully talk to the girl and keep her relaxed until her mom arrived moments later."
This program remains completely voluntary for families. It is simply a service offered by the 911 dispatchers of Ada County. Anyone interested in Ada’s Registry of the Vulnerable Population (ARVP) can sign up a family member here.
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