What is the Guardian Program?
The Guardian Program was implemented by the Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office in order to assist us during encounters with members of the community having special needs including persons who are non-verbal or affected by: Autism, Alzheimer's, Dementia, or some other mental/intellectual disability. The program evolved from discussions between Rockwall County Sheriff’s Deputies and local parents. When seconds count in an emergency situation, the Guardian Program registry allows first responders to have access to critical information designed to help safely reunite families of registered participants.
How does the Guardian Program work?
Participation in the Guardian Program is completely voluntary and free. A Guardian application must be submitted to the Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office annually. Applications are available here.
- Participant or guardian is a resident of Rockwall County
- Participant attends school within the Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction
- Participant may be unable to communicate basic personal information due to a diagnosed medical disorder.
- Participant is prone to wander away or runaway from guardians, residence or school due to a diagnosed medical disorder.
- Guardians voluntarily submit a completed application and photo with all required medical information.
What will happen with my information?
Juvenile and health information will not be released to the public and is utilized solely for the purpose of providing better service for the registrant and the families involved during times of crisis.
Do I need to update the registration?
Yes, each year you will be required to update your registration. A recent photo should be provided annually to help identify your child or dependent adult. In addition, the registry should be updated due to a change in address, phone number, emergency contact or the purchase of a new vehicle, to name a few.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How will this registry help if my child/dependent adult goes missing?If the individual goes missing and is reported by the parent or guardian, information about physical appearance, the most likely places where he or she would go to, as well as triggers, stimulants, and de-escalation techniques will be available to every police officer in the area who is looking for the missing person. If the individual has not been reported and is incapable of effectively communicating his/her name to an officer, officers may use the individual's physical descriptors to search applicable registry photos, allowing officers to make a more timely identification.
If I don't live in Rockwall County, can I still register my child/dependent adult?An individual may also be registered if at least one parent or guardian lives in Rockwall County or if the individual attends any school, day care, or assisted living in Rockwall County.
Will I be notified about annual renewals?Although our agency will promote this program throughout the year, the renewals are the sole responsibility of the parent/guardian. It is recommended that you renew the registration during the month of the registrant’s birthday.
What guarantees do we have that the interaction between our child/dependent adult and the police will be positive once he/she is registered?
There is no guarantee with this registry of positive outcome. What the registry allows is the ability for patrol officers to access necessary information faster to begin searching. Also, if an officer comes across a "wandering" child or adult who is unable to communicate, the officer can have the database queried for persons on the registry living in the area. What is important to stress is that simply having a person registered with the registry is not going to change police responses in every instance involving an individual with a mental or intellectual disability. Police will act according to procedure and depending on circumstances.
For more information, please call Deputy Michael Allen at (469)-318-8446 or email@example.com