DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The Denton Police Department is launching the Take Me Home Program, a free service that allows residents to register loved ones who may have difficulty communicating with or properly identifying themselves to first responders.

Originally developed by the Pensacola, Florida Police Department, the program is designed to help individuals who may need special assistance in the event they are alone or in an emergency.

Starting Wednesday, Denton residents can voluntarily submit information about their loved ones who have developmental disorders and may have difficulty communicating with officers.

To register a loved one who lives in or frequently visits Denton, complete a form at http://www.cityofdenton.com/takemehome. While anyone who may have trouble communicating with public safety personnel can be registered in the program, Take Me Home is particularly intended to serve individuals with Autism, Down Syndrome, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, or any other developmental or intellectual disability.

How does it work?

The Take Me Home Program is housed and maintained in a secure database accessible only to public safety personnel. Individuals are invited to complete the online Take Me Home form to provide essential information on their loved one, including their height, weight, and other physical descriptors. Other details that may help first responders, such as the individual’s favorite places and fears, can be provided. Additionally, the individual submitting the form will share emergency contacts and upload a recent photo, so the registrant can be easily identified. Users can opt in to receive annual reminders to update their loved one’s information.

When a first responder encounters a participant in the Take Me Home Program, he or she can access the Take Me Home database and search by name or physical description. The search results will allow the officer to identify the individual and help them return home.

The system also works in reverse. If an individual registered with the Take Me Home Program goes missing, their photo and description will be immediately available to first responders. In this event, individuals are urged to call 911 immediately to report the person missing and inform Denton Public Safety Dispatch that their loved one is registered in the Take Me Home database.