Smart 911 app could help police find missing autistic children

App helping local police find missing children

SHERWOOD, Ark. (KTHV) -- April is Autism Awareness month, and the Sherwood Police Department is hoping parents will download an app that could help them with finding missing children living with Autism.

We told you about an app called smart 911. It takes personal information that you put in and displays to 911 operators when you call. Sherwood police are asking parents with autistic children to take advantage of the app. Police Sergeant Keith Waymire, pushing Arkansans to register for an app that could help find missing children.

"You can provide as much information as you want that you would want the emergency 911 operator to have,” Waymire said.

Waymire remembers a case where a child living with autism disappeared, which prompted the alert. Sherwood police are advising parents to fill in information that could tell them more about their child.

"If you have family members who have Alzheimer's or autism this is a really good app for them,” Waymire said. "Law enforcement and our operators are actually trained in recognizing autism and how to communicate with them."

According to a study by the AAP News & Journals Gateway, 49 percent of parents with autistic children said their kid wandered off at least once and another 26 percent said their child was missing long enough to raise concern. Now Sherwood police are hoping parent will download the app before something like that happens to them.

"We can get assistance to somebody who needs it quicker,” Waymire said. “Whether it's getting somebody home where they belong or medical treatment, it's a life saver."

The details on how to download the app are here. The process takes about 5 minutes, and every six months you'll receive an alert about any updates needing to be made.

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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