Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office recognizes Autism Acceptance Month

For Autism Acceptance month, the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office is recognizing the community for their contributions to help the office meet the needs of autistic community members with Project Lifesaver.

According to a release, an estimated 1 in 54 Americans are living with autism this year, up from 1 in 125 in 2010.

Several years ago, the Sheriff’s Office was approached by a father of an autistic child inquiring about Project Lifesaver.

Beltrami County has been using the program since 2015, with help of community contributions and a grant from Autism Speaks.

Last year, they successfully used the equipment, a transponder worn as a bracelet that broadcasts a signal, to locate a client who had wandered from their home.

“What could have turned into a full search and rescue response was safely resolved within 45 minutes, returning the individual to the safety of their family,” wrote Sheriff Ernie Beitel in the release.

More information on this program is available at, or contact the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office to learn how to enroll your loved one into the program.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north-central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment, and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji and enjoys spending her spare time with her son Logan, daughter Brigid, and pets Vincent and Piper. She also loves reading, Star Trek, and gardening... badly.

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