Should an individual become lost or separated from caregivers, law enforcement personnel can search the database by inputting the individual’s name, phone number or physical characteristics in the hopes of learning their identity and thus reuniting them with their family or caregivers.
The Prosecutor's Office and the Summit County Sheriff's Department announced the initiative in April 2007 at a park where a five-year-old child with autism had gotten lost a year before. The child was unable to communicate his name or address to law enforcement officers.
That troubling incident, however, highlighted the challenge that law enforcement personnel and parents face when individuals with disabilities become lost. The Greater Akron Chapter of the Autism Society of America brought the Take Me Home program to the attention of Prosecutor Walsh. Bob Haren, the grandparent of a child with autism, brought it to the attention of the Sheriff's Office. A partnership was formed.