Somerset County News

Somerset County Sheriff's Rescue Drone Enhances Project Lifesaver Capabilities

The Somerset County Sheriff Office demonstrated a rescue drone Wednesday at the Somerset County Park Commission's Flying Field in Bridgewater. Credits: Courtesy Somerset County Sheriff Office
Somerset County Sheriff Frank Provenzano, left, and Project Lifesaver CEO & Founder Gene Saunders discuss the performance of the rescue drone during Wednesday's demonstration. Credits: Courtesy Somerset County Sheriff Office
Lt. Mark Szczecina of the Somerset County Sheriff Department prepares the drone for flight. Credits: Courtesy Somerset County Sheriff Office

BRIDGEWATER - The Somerset County Sheriff’s Office demonstrated a rescue drone Tuesday at the Somerset County Park Commission headquarters flying field on Milltown Road.

“The Project Lifesaver International Indago Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System drone will be an important adjunct to the Project Lifesaver program in Somerset County,” said Sheriff Frank J. Provenzano. “The current program provides a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal to vulnerable Somerset County adults and children.”

The PLI Indago UAV System is a military-grade, quadrotor UAV designed specifically for the search and rescue of special-needs populations with cognitive disorders who are prone to the life-threatening behavior of wandering, including those with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, autism and Down syndrome.

Sign Up for E-News

The Somerset County Sheriff’s Office began Project Lifesaver in 2004. New Jersey became the first state in the country to have every Sheriff’s Office equipped and trained with Project Lifesaver in 2007. This enables Sheriff’s offices across the state to assist other Project Lifesaver electronic search specialists in locating residents.   

“We have had 12 search-and-rescue missions to date,” Provenzano said. “The Indago UAV will allow us to increase our capabilities in locating a client who has wandered. This new asset will give us the ability to search even more efficiently over a broader area and will increase the probability of a successful recovery,” he said.  “We currently have 40 clients on the program - 23 children who have autism or Down syndrome and 17 adults who have dementia.”

The purchase was funded from the Sheriff’s Drug Enforcement Association forfeiture account consisting of federal monies seized from cooperative investigations with members of the Sheriff’s Office.

“The Somerset County NJ Sheriff’s Office is the first public safety agency in the country to adopt the PLI Indago UAV System,” said Project Lifesaver International CEO and founder Gene Saunders. “This type of innovative thinking and planning shows the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office’s commitment to the special-needs community and their dedication to protecting all in Somerset County.”

“This is a win-win for the Sheriff’s Office and the residents of Somerset County for our agency to be able to assist the special-needs community with a tool of this significance,” Provenzano said. “The UAV system has greatly impacted search and rescue efforts in other parts of the country. We fully anticipate having the same positive results in our county during times of crisis when families need our services the most.”

Project Lifesaver is a program coordinated through the Somerset County Office on Aging & Disability Services and supported by the county Board of Chosen Freeholders. Families with loved ones at risk of wandering due to cognitive and learning disabilities can contact the OOA&DS for an assessment that determines program eligibility, assists families in understanding their loved one’s condition, and provides information on programs and services for which they may be eligible.

Upon acceptance into the program, clients wear a personalized bracelet that emits a signal that aids the Sheriff’s Office in locating the individual in an expeditious manner, should the need arise. 

“Project LifeSaver provides extra support to caregivers and families in order to keep their loved one in the community,” said OOA&DS Executive Director Joanne Fetzko.  “The hope is that the use of the UAV system will instill greater confidence in families, as it will improve the team’s ability to help save lives and fulfill the program’s mission of bringing loved ones home safely.

"Not only will the use of this equipment reduce search time and increase public safety, but it will do so without risking the safety of the rescue team and first responders, which is undeniably an invaluable benefit to the community,” she added.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Missing in Warren: Have You Seen Jax?

March 22, 2018

WARREN, NJ - Have you seen Jax? Jax is a young Husky missing from the Reinman Road area on Thursday afternoon.

His family says, “Our dog ran out of the yard. He is a husky and less than a year old. Very friendly and responds to Jax. Please share and contact me if you see him! Thank you so much 😞 he does not like cars by the way!”

Contact Colby ...

UPDATE: Four’Easter May Bring Another Foot of Snow, Be Prepared for School Closures and Power Outages in Warren Township and Surrounding Area

March 20, 2018

WARREN, NJ - Happy Spring. Get the milk, bread and eggs. Get the generator, gas and chainsaw and be prepared to lose another day of spring break if Wednesday is called a snow day. Heavy mixed precipitation is expected with snow accumulations of 8 to 14 inches in our area by Wednesday evening when the fourth Nor’easter of the year hits. #foureaster is trending, and Winter does ...

Warren Township to Collect Winter Storm Quinn Tree Debris

WARREN, NJ - The Department of Public Works of Warren Township will be collecting tree and brush debris from all Warren Township residents in the aftermath of Winter Storm Quinn.

Due to the intense effects of Storm Quinn that impacted Warren Township on March 7, the Township Committee has authorized and directed the DPW to. begin the collection process ...

Somerset County Opens Emergency Shelter for Storm Victims at RVCC

BRANCHBURG, NJ – Due to the extended power outages in Somerset County as a result of Winter Storm Quinn and the expected cold temperatures over the next few days, the Somerset County Office of Emergency Management has partnered with the American Red Cross to open a shelter for county residents at Raritan Valley Community College.

The shelter opened as of 5:30 p.m. Saturday, ...

Update from Warren Office of Emergency Management on Saturday, Mar. 10

WARREN, NJ - The Warren Township Office of Emergency Management has provided a timeline and Jane Asch at Warren’s Office of Emergency Management has updated storm recovery information as of 1 p.m. Saturday, March 10 with the following:



The most pressing issue is restoration of power. It may be helpful to understand the triage system both JCP&L and ...

Affordable Housing in Warren: How we got here and where we're going

March 23, 2018


In 1975, New Jersey launched an effort to force municipalities across the state to provide affordable housing to low- and moderate-income families.

From the outset, Warren Township has worked hard to help shape debate around the issue and influence the rules that have determined state mandates.

The New Jersey Supreme Court's first Mt. Laurel ruling (in 1975) established the ...

Siblings Host Dinner in Support of Our House

In the spirit of giving back, one family has made a difference in the lives of adults with developmental disabilities by hosting a dinner and silent auction at Sette restaurant in Bernardsville on March 17, 2018, raising $26,000 for the non-profit, Our House, Inc., of New Providence.

Philip and Maria Provenzano, of Nutley, and Angela Provenzano Schaub, of Westfield, organized the fundraising ...


South Plainfield – Joanne Gallo, 68, of Palm Beach Gardens, FL and Warren, NJ, passed away ...
Read more

AAA Cautions: Daylight Saving Could Affect Daily Commute

March 10, 2018

WARREN, NJ - AAA is reminding drivers that the change to Daylight Saving Time may create distractions on the roadway and challenges for drivers who lost an hour of sleep. Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday at 2 a.m.

“As we spring forward, drivers should be aware that the time change will also mean changes to driving habits,” said Robert Sinclair, Manager of Media ...

Student Activist Organizes March for Our Lives Vigil March 24

March 23, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ  - Like millions of Americans, Somerville High School junior Kira Edgar was fraught with anger and outrage by last month’s shooting deaths of 17 students and staff at their high school in Parkland, Fla.

The 17-year-old decided to add her voice to a growing nationwide protest against gun violence.

She is one of 19 student organizers of the statewide March for Our ...

Freeholders Endorse Armed Security in all Somerset County Schools

SOMERVILLE, NJ – Following the Parkland, Fla school shooting last month in which 17 students and staff were killed, Somerset County Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione and Freeholder Mark Caliguire Thursday announced that the freeholder board will fund a second armed school resource officer at the county Vocational & Technical High School in Bridgewater, and urged every school ...

Weekend Ideas in Somerset County, Plus Easter Egg Hunts

Things to do in Somerset County: 

Weekend 3.23 to 3.25

1. 5k Race to Wellness, Duke Island Park

2. A Virtual Tour of the Moon, Duke Farms

3. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? – Opening Weekend, Villagers Theatre

4. KidPreneurs, Bridgewater Commons

5. Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny, Theatre at RVCC

6.  Ahoy Mate! A Voyage ...

Warren Township Ranks as 25th Safest City in America and 6th in New Jersey for 2018, National Council for Home Safety and Security Says

WARREN, NJ - Warren Township is the sixth safest city in New Jersey and also ranks as No. 25 in the Top 100 Safest Cities in America for 2018, the National Council for Home Safety and Security says in its latest ranking.


“As Mayor, I believe that I speak for the entire Township Committee regarding our appreciation of the efforts of our Police Department and all ...

Weekend Ideas in Somerset County, Plus Easter Egg Hunts

March 23, 2018

Things to do in Somerset County: 

Weekend 3.23 to 3.25

1. 5k Race to Wellness, Duke Island Park

2. A Virtual Tour of the Moon, Duke Farms

3. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? – Opening Weekend, Villagers Theatre

4. KidPreneurs, Bridgewater Commons

5. Goodnight Moon & The Runaway Bunny, Theatre at RVCC

6.  Ahoy Mate! A Voyage ...

Travel Fun - Senator Cory Booker is Bested by Senator Jeff Flake in a Snowball Fight on Capital Hill

WASHINGTON, DC - Senators Jeff Flake of Arizona and Cory Booker of New Jersey had a spirited snow ball fight in front of Capital Hill.  This combines multiple things that we like at TAPintoTravels.  It includes extended work travel, a great tourist city, and two grown men having fun.

Is it immature?  A little. Is it funny?  Definitely.

The sad part is Cory got bested by ...

The Perfect Travel Pack - The Airport Repack Because of a Delayed Flight - What You Really Need

If you have traveled a lot, you have had a canceled flight.  Do you know how to do an airport in such cases?

Well, on a recent canceled flight on Norwegian Air from Berlin to New York, we had to do it.  Our experience is now your gain.

The slide show above shows you step by step, how it was accomplished.  Here we will explain it.

For starters, think about your ...

St. Patrick’s Day Sobriety Check in Belmar/Neptune Area on Tap by State Police

March 17, 2018

BELMAR, NJ — Giving no details on location and time, New Jersey State Police plans to conduct a sobriety checkpoint on Saturday, March 17 in the area of Belmar and Neptune Township,

The state police made the announcement on its Facebook page, alerting motorists that state troopers will be pulling over vehicles at this undisclosed location and time  “looking for signs of ...

'Trying' explores age, youth and points of history in poignant production

‘Trying’ explores youth, age and points of history in poignant production

By Liz Keill

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The George Street Playhouse presents an engrossing, two-character play based on the real life of Francis Biddle, former Attorney General.

Biddle, a Harvard educated lawyer, served under Franklin Roosevelt and later Harry Truman during the Nuremberg Tribunal. His ...