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Save the Date: Autism Night Out is Friday, May 30

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 22, 2014

Individuals with medical conditions like Alzheimer’s, Autism, and Down Syndrome have a propensity to wander.  As police officers, we are often called to a home or area to assist a caregiver with locating a person who has wandered.  On average, the Montgomery County Police Department investigates two missing (wandering) Autistic children cases per week.  The department recognizes that caregivers of loved ones with these disorders have a huge responsibility.

On Friday, May 30, the Montgomery County Police Department and Autism Speaks will host the second annual “Autism Night Out” at the Montgomery County Public Safety Training Academy in Rockville.  It is our hope that this event will provide valuable safety information to loved ones.  We also believe this event will be a great opportunity for our officers to receive additional information from caregivers about Autism.

What: “Autism Night Out” Event – Hosted by the Montgomery County Police Department and Autism Speaks

When: Friday, May 30, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Where: Public Safety Training Academy, 9710 Great Seneca Highway, Rockville 20850

For Who: Caregivers, Parents, Children, Loved Ones, and Community Members Who Want to Learn More About Autism

Activities will include:

  • Specially trained search and rescue police officers (Montgomery County Police- Managed Search Operations Team) and fire & rescue personnel will demonstrate specialized equipment and answer questions
  • Resources and tools to help keep children with Autism safe
  • Fun for the kids! Temporary Tattoos, Moon bounce, Face Painting
  • Meet our K9s and their handlers
  • Tour emergency vehicles (police cruiser, fire truck)
  • Safety Sleep shirts available
  • Tour school bus and talk with Montgomery County Public School Transportation personnel
  • Information on Special Olympics, Therapuetic horseback riding, and swimming lessons
The police department runs a Project Lifesaver Program to address the problem of wandering.  As part of this program, caregivers are provided with information and tools to prevent episodes of wandering and officers will work with caregivers to implement those safety measures.  If necessary, the wandering individual may be outfitted with a personalized bracelet.  The bracelet emits a unique automatic tracking signal every second, 24 hours a day.   If the participant wanders, loved ones call 911.  Officers who have been trained in the Project Lifesaver System then use radio frequency tracking equipment to locate the participant.  Project Lifesaver officers are also specially trained in the methods necessary to communicate with a person who has these disorders.

The department also has a Managed Search Operations Team (MSOT).  On average, this team of approximately eight search and rescue officers coordinates and manages over 200 active searches for endangered missing persons a year, many involving missing people with Autism. Caregivers, community members, and officers can all work together to prevent wandering and ensure that individuals are quickly located if they do wander.  For more information about Autism Night Out or for assistance in dealing with wandering, please contact Officer Laurie Reyes or Officer Tara Wimmer at 301-840-2788 or via e-mail ( or

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Release ID: 14-149
Media Contact: mcpnews 
Categories: press-releases