News Article Details

GPD considering AngelSense program

Greensburg Daily News - 10/11/2018

Oct. 11--GREENSBURG -- The Greensburg Police Department is contemplating the use of a new program for special needs families through the GPD Autism Awareness Program.

GPD Chief Brendan Bridges, who himself is the parent to a child with autism, said the department is currently looking into a program called AngelSense. Bridges has been working to increase awareness of autism and special needs in the community for several years, as well as building understanding within the city's police force.

"The AngelSense GPS tracker is the only monitoring solution designed by autism parents for autism parents," Bridges said. "This is designed with your child's needs in mind."

The AngelSense program comes with a variety of features, all of which are intended to create a safer world for children with special needs.

"Every parent should have the peace of mind that their special needs child is safe," Bridges said.

The AngelSense program has numerous options, which can be fine-tuned to fit the needs of each individual family. Autism is unique among each person who has it, and each child may operate at different ability and awareness levels.

The AngelCall feature allows parents to speak to their child at any time, with no action required on the part of the child. This is useful because it allows parents to use their familiar and comforting voice to help keep their child calm as they guide them through transitions or unexpected changes to the established routine. The AngelCall can be programed for trusted loved ones as well.

Sensory issues are common among people with autism, which makes the sensory-friendly design of the AngelSense device a positive. Unlike a watch, which can irritate many people with sensory sensitivity, the AngelSense device can be worn multiple ways. The accompanying accessories are designed for sensory sensitivity and the tamper-proof design ensures the child cannot remove or destroy the device.

For parents with special needs children who like to wander or dart away, the indoor search option will be useful. This feature uses Wi-Fi hotspots to find the child in question quickly in places like a mall, school, or large indoor facility, Bridges said.

Bridges said runner mode is "a must for wanderers. Share your child's real time location with your trusted first responders, family, friends, teachers, and neighbors to quickly bring your child home safe."

AngelSense sends an immediate alert if the child is not on their normal bus or carpool with the late departure warning. If the child strays from the established routine and is not where he or she should be, there is no lost time before parents are notified. It is also equipped with an unknown place alert.

The listen in option gives parents the ability to use AngelSense as a speaker and listen to who their child is with. Bridges said this lets parents ensure their child is well and being treated kindly.

The AngelSense device is also equipped with an alarm, which lets parents locate their child nearby or when hiding.

"This device will also alert the parent through text to see when their kid has left a location and when they arrive at a location," Bridges said. "This feature is very useful if your child is lost. You will be able to be notified of his location through GPS and map viewing."

In the event a child is lost, the parent or guardian will be able to alert first responders immediately, which allows the public safety officials to go to the area in question without delay.

Bridges said the GPD is looking into purchasing AngelSense for families interested in the program.

According to Bridges, the one requirement for participating in the program will be that the child in question must have been diagnosed on the autism spectrum by an autism specialist.

"This program will be available to residents of Decatur County and the city of Greensburg," Bridges said. "The Greensburg Police Department will be working on grants and donations to fund this program."

Bridges asked anyone interested in learning more or donating to fund this program to contact him at 812-663-3131 or bbridges@greensburg.in.gov.

Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111x7004; amanda.browning@greensburgdailynews.com

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