ROANOKE, Va. -

Many of us know someone who suffers from a disease or disorder that can make them wander off.

Alzeimers, dementia and autism are just a few.

Over the past two days, Roanoke City police officers and recruits participated in training to help take the concern away from friends and families of people who's diseases can cause them to wander.  This year's police recruiting class will be the first group of police recruits in the country to all be certified in this technology.

"It's a life or death situation for somebody out there when the need arises," said Roanoke City Police Officer Travis Akins, who heads Project Lifesaver.

The training started with him running around hiding $300 transmitters under shrubs and leaves around Highland Park. The transmitters are about half the size of an egg.

But this exercise is "actually not an easy feat at all, it's quite difficult," Akins said.

Akins says the reason it's tough is because he's hiding them by themselves. Normally, they'd be worn on a bracelet or necklace by people with these cognitive disorders.

"We have the ability to place these transmitters on anyone who has a cognitive disability," Akins said.

These recruits and officers, like John Hill, volunteered for the training.

"I'd just like to be able to go out and whenever someone goes missing that's autistic to be able to go out and try to find them," Hill said.

Using the receivers in hand, the trainees listen for those chirps, which leads them to the transmitters. The receivers look like old TV antennae that are mobile and create a chirping sound given off by the transmitter.

Thanks to a $13,000 grant from the Foundation for the Roanoke Valley, the police department can give these transmitters to everyone on a waitlist.

"The need is so great nowadays," said Travis Akins.

Thanks to this training, some of those most vulnerable in Roanoke will be safer.