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2 missing seniors prompt Citrus Heights PD to promo tracking tech

Updated Dec. 26, 3:41 p.m.–
Citrus Heights police are promoting the use of personal tracking technology for at-risk residents after helping find two missing seniors this week — one of whom was wearing a trackable device designed for such an emergency.

Stock photo, Citrus Heights police SUV.
Stock photo, Citrus Heights police SUV.

A Christmas-Day search for one of the seniors, 77-year-old James Mengel, ended late last night after the Citrus Heights resident was found in good health in Truckee by California Highway Patrol officers, according to a police press release. The search began after Mengel was reported missing by a family member, prompting CHP to utilize a missing-person public notification system known as “Silver Alert.”

In a much less publicized incident earlier this week, Citrus Heights police said they also helped find a 61-year-old man with dementia who reportedly wandered away from his home on Monday. This time, police were aided by the Department’s “Project Lifesaver” system to track a signal from a personal transmitter the man was wearing — something only 13 people currently have in the city, according to CHPD Sergeant Michael Wells.

According to a press release, CHPD says the program has reduced search times from days to just minutes, and with about 50 missing-person calls each month, the Department is encouraging at-risk persons with conditions like Alzheimer’s, dementia, autism and Down syndrome to be enrolled in the program.

<<Related story: Citrus Heights police also use tracking tech to stop would-be car thieves through their “bait vehicle” program. Click here to read story.>>

The Department says the program is currently free for Citrus Heights residents, with each enrollee receiving a trackable radio frequency transmitter to wear around the ankle or wrist which enables police to help find the person, if reported missing.

Project Lifesaver International is a non-profit company which began working with CHPD in 2012. Those interested in learning more about the program can visit, or download enrollment forms on CHPD’s website.

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