Belchertown Police Department News Blog

Belchertown Police Implment Safe Return Registry Program

Do you live with or care for someone who has Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, Autism or other cognitive impairments?

Have they ever wandered off?

Do they ever wander away from you when you turn your back?

Are you constantly worried they might wander off?

Do you remember how panic stricken and worried you were when they did wander off?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then our new Safe Return Registry might be of interest to you.

It has, and continues to be the quest of the Belchertown Police Department to create a safe environment where people can live, work, and thrive.  Over the years we have done this by being proactive in developing and implementing new Community Policing initiatives to address potential problems.  As such we have identified a situation that has occurred a few times over the years that we call “Wandering”.  Wandering is a common behavior in persons with Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, Autism or other cognitive impairments.  The police department has responded to many incidents whereby a person with one of these cognitive impairments has “wandered off”.  In order to initiate the process of locating the wandering person the responding officer’s need to gather certain information which delays the search process.  In an effort to facilitate the quick and safe return of these persons, the Belchertown Police department has partnered with the Senior Center to create a “Safe Return Registry”.  The department’s “Safe Return Registry” contains all the pertinant information needed to quickly initiate the process of locating and safely returning a “wandering” person. Registering a person before an incident occurs, enables officers to begin search procedures immediately, and they will also be able to quickly identify persons they encounter even before they are reported as missing.

Members of the community who would benefit from this registry include, but are not limited to, children or adults with Autism, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Down’s Syndrome, or other Cognitive impairment.

The Belchertown Police Department encourages residents who have a loved-one in this vulnerable population to register at any time at the Belchertown Police Department or the Senior Center.  A current photograph of the individual is requested or can be taken upon registration.
Upon registration, the individual’s information will be securely stored in the police department’s database.

The Safe Return form can be downloaded from our Forms page, picked up at the Belchertown Police Station or at the Senior Center.  You can submit the form directly to the police department by either emailing it to, mailing it to the Police Department or stopping by and dropping it off with our Dispatch personnel.


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