New Police Program Targets Reuniting the Lost with Caregivers

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Eight adults have gone missing due to memory challenges in the past three years, a serious concern for their home and caregivers. To speed up reuniting them, the Santa Barbara Police Department set up the Adult At-Risk ID Card initiative.

SBPD hopes the new action will “increase the odds of reconnecting at-risk individuals with loved ones,” said Anthony Wagner, the police department’s public engagement manager, namely those with cognitive limitations like Alzheimer’s, dementia, or traumatic brain injury. So far, SBPD has successfully found each individual lost through the citizens who respond to text and social media messages, which reach 70 percent of the city.

To take part in the program, at-risk adults, their families, or their caregivers who live in the City of Santa Barbara can register identification information and photos with SBPD’s private database. From that information, physical descriptions of the at-risk person can be released when a missing person search is filed. Members of the Volunteers-in-Policing Program plan to reach out to caregiver groups across the city to gather registrations.

The programs rolls out at a registration event on Wednesday, March 11, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Police Activities League (PAL) building at 1235 Chapala Street. Those who cannot attend the rollout, but wish to register, can contact SBPD Volunteer Dale Kunkel at dkunkel@sbpd.com. For questions about the upcoming event or to obtain additional information about the Adult At-Risk ID Program, contact Sgt. Kasi Corbett at (805) 897-2332.

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