Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Westmoreland County will become the latest in western Pennsylvania to use an alert system aimed at preventing child abuse. It's called "Watchful Shepherd." It's similar to mobile communication devices that some seniors wear in case they need emergency medical attention. The technology was first adapted for children 15 years ago in Washington County. Donna Nardine, the Executive Director of Watchful Shepherd USA, says the children wear bracelets that have a button on them. The button connects them with emergency dispatchers. Each home also has a unit plugged into the phone line that operates like a speakerphone. Operators stay on the line with the children while police are on their way to the home. Nardine says there has never been a reported recurrence of child abuse in homes that have the devices.