AUGUSTA (AP) — A new program now being offered by the Augusta Police Department aims to speed up the rescue process when residents with dementia or autism wander away from home.

Lt. Christopher Read tells The Kennebec Journal that the department’s Wanderer Program was established to better assist emergency responders in finding and communicating with people prone to wander due to mental or medical conditions.

Spouses and guardians can sign up with the program in advance of any unforeseen emergency situation. Among the information provided includes a description of the person being registered, medical information and favorite hiding spots.

Read says any information submitted during registration is confidential and will only be used by emergency personnel.

Residents interested in registering a loved one can do so on the department’s website.

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