Sheriff patrol car hopes to raise Autism awareness

Published: Feb. 25, 2016 at 11:04 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2017 at 3:41 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - It's not sirens and lights on one Columbus patrol car that's catching people's attention, rather the bright puzzle pieces covering the car to raise awareness for a specific cause.

While it's not officially Autism Awareness until April, sheriff officials are asking for your help in keeping people with autism and other cognitive disorders safe, but using one of their patrol cars as a moving billboard.

"They've never seen a car like this before," said Muscogee County Sheriff's Deputy Chris Langston.

Coated in the iconic Autism Awareness puzzle pieces, Deputy Langston hits the streets of Columbus in his patrol car.

"A lot of people give me a lot of positive feedback, especially people who have family members that suffer from autism, so when they see me they really thank me for driving this particular car," said Langston.

Officials with the Muscogee County Sheriff's office are gearing up for a March Easter egg hunt where they will be collecting money to help continue funding Project Lifesaver. That's an initiative for those of all ages with cognitive disorders like autism or Alzheimers.

"We want families to have a peace of mind if they have a family member that has a tendency to wander off," said Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr.

The roughly $350 bracelet has a tracking device in it. When someone wearing it goes missing, officials can track them down with frequency equipment.
The Muscogee County Sheriff's Department currently has 18 bracelets in use, one which recently came in handy.

"They were recovered within probably 30-45 minutes," said Deputy Louie Abney. 

The program is not only saving precious time, but also tax-payer money.

"The number of manpower hours and law enforcement, and the cost that we can save our community or our local law enforcement is just tremendous," said Darr.

Another taxpayer savings is the decorated patrol car itself, as it was all dolled up, thanks to a donor.

The Easter egg hunt to raise money will be on March 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Woodruff park. The Autism Awareness car will also be there for pictures.

Copyright WTVM 2016. All rights reserved.