A new Boston Police Department (BPD) program called North Star aims to make it easier to track missing children and people with such conditions as autism and Alzheimer’s disease.
The free, voluntary program allows information about such people to be distributed to the authorities, and possibly the public, if they go missing.
Named for the star used in navigation, the program was the brainchild of Boston Police Officer Michelle Maffeo, whose son has autism, according to BPD spokesperson Elaine Driscoll.
The program especially intended for people who might not realize that they are in danger and might have trouble communicating with authorities who find them.
The program, which has been in operation for about two months, works in two directions. Caretakers who notice a person has gone missing can call police and tell them the person is North Star-registered. And police officers can search the North Star database if they find a person in distress who lacks ID.
Registration involves filling out some paperwork and having digital photos taken. For more information, contact BPD at 617-343-6503 or firstname.lastname@example.org.