May this communication serve as a response to the letter submitted by the former Sheriff of Hudson County in the March 4 edition, entitled “Project Lifesaver was fully functional.”
I find it necessary to respond to certain areas in regards to the Project Lifesaver Program in Hudson County and the circumstances concerning the entire effort to revamp this program. First of all, it was the New Jersey Sheriff’s Association that approached all of the local sheriffs concerning the facilitation of the program. The program was not the initial effort of the former sheriff in 2007. The program in Hudson County up until December 2007 only had six Hudson County residents in participation, and this was not acceptable to the present sheriff, Juan M. Perez, when he assumed the reins of the office in January 2008.
Perez desired that this be a true working program, not merely for public relations purposes at certain times during the year. Due to the fact of the extremely low participation rate, it was clear to Sheriff Perez that having only six residents involved meant that there needed to be planning and outreach to the community to involve more of the needs of its citizens.
Throughout 2008, there were discussions with those involved in the care of the elderly and disabled in the county and the result has been an intensive outreach by way of media and other avenues to include more of the residents requiring this service. To date, there are a number of residents who expressed interest in the program and these people are in the process of being enrolled.
Again, we encourage all residents to take advantage of this program for the safety and well being of our Hudson County communities.
ROBERT B. KNAPP
Public Information Officer
Office of the Hudson County Sheriff