It's an honor every week to bring stories of positive actions on the part of our heroes in law enforcement. It seems more and more I'm writing stories and honoring heroes who are acting to save lives, when they are off-duty.

Today's story is about a Manchester NJ Police Officer who was hunting in South Jersey noticed something out of place.

According to the story reported by News12, New Jersey Sergeant Charles Brooks noticed footprints from a person and a dog that were "out of place for the area." Instead of continuing his hunt, he went on a search for the person belonging to the footprints. He found a dog staring at him, and after the dog literally communicated with Sgt. Brooks encouraging him to follow him down a path which led to Fred Rapp, who is 78, suffers from dementia and had been lost in the pine barrens for the past 12 hours.

Thanks to the alert action of Sgt. Brooks and a loyal and smart dog named "Petey", one man is back home with his family for the Christmas holiday.

Here's an excerpt from the News12 Story:

“The dog started whining and walking down the trail towards where the foot tracks were going. Followed the dog and after a couple hundred yards, the dog stopped and I observed the gentleman there in the woods,” says Brooks.
Rapp suffers from early stages of dementia. He had moved in with his daughter this year from his rural upstate New York home to be closer to family. He had his cellphone on him but was unable to answer it.
“I think he was very lucky. He was fortunate to have his dog with him and that I happened to pick that area that day and was able to use some of my trainings – police work and outdoorsmanship - to get a successful ending for this gentleman,” Brooks says.
Sarno says that she is happy that Brooks came by.
“He didn’t have to pay attention to a dog that approached him. He was off duty, enjoying his Sunday and he found my father,” she says.
Brooks says that if a loved one shows signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s, it is a good idea to get a GPS pendant for them and to also have a plan to make sure that they are well-versed on how to use a cellphone.
Rapp is still in the hospital but is expected to make a full recovery. - News 12 Staff 

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The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.

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