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Safe Return Program aimed to help developmentally disabled citizens at risk of wandering

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (PRESS RELEASE) – The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has developed a website to assist citizen’s in the county who have developmental disabilities and are at risk of wandering away from home.

The Safe Return Program is a registry database where citizens can register their loved ones who are at risk of wandering and becoming lost. Often times, the Sheriff’s Department receives reports for missing persons that have a tendency to wander because of a disability such as autism, Alzheimer’s and dementia, just to name a few.

Citizens and caretakers can go onto the Safe Return website, which can be accessed through the Sheriff’s website, and create a profile for their loved one. The profile will provide law enforcement with important information that can assist with finding the missing person quickly and safely returning them home. Information such as: physical description, disability, behavioral triggers, best approach methods, places likely to wander to and a digital photograph are included in each profile, as well as emergency contact information.

Having these profiles available to law enforcement can help to reduce the amount of time a person is missing and keep law enforcement resources available for other calls. The program also works in reverse: if someone goes missing and is found by a citizen or law enforcement official, we can search the database based on a number of search parameters to find a match, and will immediately have the missing person’s emergency contact information so we can return them immediately to their loved ones.

“The Safe Return Program is an invaluable tool designed to protect some of our most vulnerable citizens. Deputies will have access to vital information that will reunite critical missing people with their families.”, stated Sheriff John McMahon

Anyone wishing to register a loved one can do so at the Safe Return website: There is a tutorial, FAQ’s, and printable brochures available on the site. Any questions can be referred to the Sheriff’s Public Affairs Division.

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