The Palatine Police Department creates a platform to find those who get lost

The Palatine Police Department has partnered with software provider ImageSoft to launch SafeEncounter, a platform designed to help protect vulnerable residents who tend to wander.

The police department’s goal is to quickly resolve every encounter with people who are lost due to cognitive impairments such as dementia, autism, Down syndrome, schizophrenia, deafness or blindness.

The Palatine Police Dept. is the second police department in the nation to adopt this technology, and the first in Illinois. This service is free to use by the public.

The SafeEncounter platform allows residents to upload relevant information about their loved one, known as a “dependent”, into a secure database maintained by and only viewable by the police department. Each file submitted by a family member or caregiver contains a photo, address, physical characteristics and a description of the dependent’s cognitive status. The user can also submit locations frequented by the dependent, vehicle information and languages ​​spoken.

Once submitted, the dependent’s file is reviewed and approved by police department personnel. Field officers can then search the database from any internet-enabled device when they encounter someone who cannot easily identify where they live or work. Search results can be filtered on keywords, photo, physical descriptors, and location information.

Agents can also enter the location where the lost person was found and search via GIS mapping for all dependent records within a desired radius.

The SafeEncounter platform allows users to update dependent information and photograph as needed.

Palatine Police Department staff may also send requests for updated information to ensure records are up-to-date and officers are working with the best information possible. By using the SafeEncounter platform, the police department believes they can quickly resolve these difficult situations in an honorable and dignified manner.

Residents and carers are invited to register their dependents as soon as possible by visiting the Palatine village website at and navigating to the Palatine Police Department page.

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