The T.R.A.C. Program The Belmont Police Department is committed to our community’s safety. The T.R.A.C. Program is our newest safety method, designed to help families who have members with cognitive memory disorders or developmental impairments, such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or Autism, that put them at risk of becoming lost. Through the T.R.A.C. Program, families are provided sturdy GPS tracking units that can be combined with smart phones or laptop computers to help keep their family members safe. GPS units can be instrumental in locating at-risk individuals quickly, and a very fast response is the surest way to bring a lost person back to safety. There are many quality GPS units available to the public, and we encourage families to research the different types and styles of units to learn which fit their needs best. The Belmont Police Department also recognizes that not everyone has the ability to obtain and use these types of systems on their own, so GPS tracking units and training on how to use the units will be provided to families, free of charge.
If a loved one becomes lost, families are encouraged to activate their GPS devices as soon as possible to help them find their family member. In emergency situations, the public is encouraged to contact the Belmont Police Department to assist with the search. It should be noted that the GPS tracking units will never be utilized by the Belmont Police Department unless assistance is directly requested in an emergency situation.
Provided GPS System The Belmont Police Department will provide the Samsung SmartThings Tracker system to families with loved ones who have cognitive memory disorders or other notable disabilities that put them as risk of becoming lost, free of charge. The Samsung GPS system provided works in conjunction with the SmartThings app, and will show the location of the tracker anywhere within the range of a cellular network. Battery power consumption depends on usage patterns, but typically lasts 4 to 5 days. Automatic alerts will be given when the tracker enters in or out of zones that can be created, and an S.O.S. may be sent from the unit. The GPS units are light weight and water resistant. AT&T LTE-M network service is included for the first year, and a charge of $5 per month or $50 per year is required after the first year of use.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I get a GPS device for my loved one? There are many different types and size GPS tracking units on the market, and citizens are encouraged to identify which unit fits their needs best. Contact Lieutenant Ken Stenquist at (650) 595-7400 to obtain the Samsung tracker, free of charge.
- How does the GPS device work? The device provided works in conjunction with web-enabled technology. As such, a family guardian will be required to provide their own web-enabled device. As long as a lost family member is in possession of the GPS device, the GPS device is charged, and the person is within the broad range of the cellular network, their position will be shown on a map, accessed through the family’s web-based device.
- Can the Belmont Police Department track citizens possessing the device? The Belmont Police Department will not have the ability to track citizens with the GPS units provided by this program at any time without a family’s specific request during an emergency situation. The Belmont Police Department must then utilize the family’s web-based device to track the missing person.
- How much do GPS units Cost? There are many different types of GPS units available, and costs can easily range from $50 to $1,000. Monthly charges are also associated with GPS units, and those costs can range from $5 to $50 per month. The Belmont Police Department will provide GPS systems free of charge and cover the first year of associated cellular costs. The cellular charges for the Samsung SmartThings Tracker will then be $5 per month or $50 per year after the first year.
- Can I donate to the Belmont T.R.A.C. Program? Anyone who wishes to donate funds for the program are asked to contact Lieutenant Ken Stenquist at (650) 595-7400.
History On August 26, 2019, Belmont resident Paul Farmer left his home to go for a routine walk. Although Mr. Farmer had been experiencing beginning stages of dementia, this did not keep him from his daily walk, as he had been safely going on for many years. On this occasion however, Mr. Farmer did not return home. Local and regional Law Enforcement resources were deployed and extensive searches were conducted over the course of many weeks. Sadly, Mr. Farmer remains missing to this day. This unfortunate incident was the driving force behind the Belmont T.R.A.C. Program, in the hopes that no Belmont family will ever have to experience the pain and loss of a loved one under these types of circumstances ever again. Our thoughts and prayers continue for the Farmer family.