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ACPD Adds ‘Safe Return’ Program To Aid Missing Person Cases

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The Arkansas City Police Department announced a new initiative is says will better serve the most vulnerable members of the community, according to a news release from the department.

The “Safe Return” program is already a success in other parts of the country, including the Bedford Police Department in Texas, the ACPD said.

Safe Return is a community resource program for the members of vulnerable populations who reside within the City of Ark City. These community members include children and adults who suffer from Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Autism, Down Syndrome, or any other developmental disorder.

The Safe Return program is a database maintained by the ACPD and is only accessible to public safety personnel. The vital information provided by caregivers or parents will help to assist the ACPD and other local law enforcement agencies if the participant goes missing by having information about the participant easily accessible and already on file.

“This will help law enforcement get the participant entered as a Silver Alert or an Endangered Missing Person much quicker, resulting in a better chance of a Safe Return home,” the police department said.

According to the National Missing And Unidentified Persons Database, more than 600,000 people were reported missing in 2021. The Safe Return program goal is to preplan for the worst-case scenario and help get vulnerable community members home quickly and safely.

“When a vulnerable member of our community goes missing, seconds matter,” ACPD Chief Eric Burr said. “The time that it takes to gather vital personal information is time that could be spent launching a full-scale search which includes broadcasting a description of the missing person to area public safety agencies. The Safe Return program will enable us to quickly and effectively communicate that information without delay.”

To enroll a participant in the Safe Return program or if you have any questions, please contact Master Police Officer Cori Tuxhorn at [email protected] , or by calling 620-441-4437 or 620-441-6601.