Helping Our Community: San Bernardino Counties Sheriff’s Safe Return Program

Dr. CJ Cook, DBABlog

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

In the world of police work, programs that help people trust and work together with the community are really important. One of these programs is the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Safe Return Program. It’s like a shining light of help and support for people and families going through tough times. This program has many stories of success, showing how much it helps the community.

The Safe Return Program is a teamwork project run by the Sheriff’s Department. It uses photos and information to help police officers when they meet people in the community who have special needs, like Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Down syndrome, or other developmental disabilities. The goal is to ensure these individuals return home safely if they are lost or need assistance.

To find out more, go to the Safe Return Program website, Safe Return Program – San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department ( webpage. On the website, you can find out which areas the program helps, how to join, how to remove someone from the list, and how the police use the system.

You can also find a link to the Safe Return Program on Emergency and Disaster Management | Inland Regional Center (

Note: This program is available to people who live in areas where the Sheriff’s Department is in charge. It includes cities and areas like Apple Valley, Barstow/Trona, Big Bear, Big Bear Lake, Central (part of San Bernardino without a city), Chino Hills, Colorado River, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Hesperia, Highland, Loma Linda, Morongo Basin, Needles, Rancho Cucamonga, Twentynine Palms, Twin Peaks, Victor Valley, Victorville, Yucaipa, and Yucca Valley.

Why the Safe Return Program is Important?

  1. Reuniting Loved Ones: By using the Safe Return Program, police can find people who need help or are lost and bring them back to their families safely.
  2. Swift Intervention: Individuals with special needs may be at higher risk of harm or accidents if they wander off and are left unattended. Swift intervention helps minimize their time in potentially dangerous situations, reducing the risk of injury or harm.
  3. Vulnerability: Special needs individuals may have difficulty communicating or understanding their surroundings, making them more vulnerable when they are lost. Quick intervention ensures they are located and provided with the necessary assistance and support to keep them safe.
  4. Medical Needs: Some individuals with special needs may have specific medical requirements or conditions that need attention. Swift intervention ensures that any medical needs are addressed promptly and that they receive appropriate care if necessary.

In short, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Safe Return Program is an example of how police can provide swift intervention to keep individuals with special needs safe. It’s done a good job of protecting and helping people who need it most, and Inland Regional Center fully supports the program.


Posted by:

Dr. CJ Cook, DBA

As Program Administrator, CJ is responsible for the proactive oversight of various units within IRC, including Community Management, Service Access and Equity, and Training and Development. CJ's oversight extends to Language Access and Cultural Competency (LACC), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), equity in the Purchase of Service (POS), and the National Core Indicator (NCI) project. Furthermore, CJ is tasked with managing the IRC's Performance Contract with DDS and overseeing Emergency Services.

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