Latest News

Project Lifesaver: Providing Peace of Mind for Families of Individuals Prone to Wandering

Santa Barbara, Calif. – A missing man with dementia was recently reunited with his family after being missing for almost an entire day, prompting the Sheriff’s Office to remind the public about a valuable program we offer – Project Lifesaver. The Sheriff’s Office understands the profound concern and fear experienced by families and caregivers when a loved one goes missing, especially if they have a tendency to wander. Project Lifesaver provides an invaluable solution, offering proactive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of vulnerable individuals within our community.

Santa Barbara County is home to thousands of residents who have Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, Mental Dysfunction Disorders and many young people with Down’s Syndrome or Autism.  More than half of those with these ailments will wander at one time or another.  Those who become lost will require an urgent, well-trained response.  If not found quickly, they are at high risk of serious injury or even death.

In the event a participant wanders off and the Sheriff’s Office is notified, the Search and Rescue team is deployed utilizing Project Lifesaver’s specialized tracking equipment to locate the missing person.  Sheriff Personnel and volunteers are uniquely trained to make your loved one feel at ease for a safe return home.

Project Lifesaver in Santa Barbar County has a 100% success rate.  The National average of finding a Project Lifesaver client is 30 minutes versus the hours and days it can take to find someone without this technology. The Sheriff’s Office encourages residents who have a family member who suffers from Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Autism, or any condition where they could wander and get lost, to sign up for Project Lifesaver.

While caregivers check that the battery and wristband are secure daily, both items are maintained and replaced monthly by Sheriff’s Office personnel or trained volunteers.

The Sheriff’s Department does not charge for anyone to be on the Project Lifesaver program, or for searches for missing clients, however an initial equipment fee for the transmitter and first year of batteries and wristbands is $400, which includes a $100 refundable deposit on the transmitter. Subsequent years cost $125 for the batteries and wristbands that are changed and inspected monthly by trained personnel. Sponsorships may be available for those in need of financial assistance.

To sign a loved one up for Project Lifesaver, please follow this link: ProjectLifesaverApplication.pdf for the application. It may be dropped off at any Sheriff’s Office location or emailed to For more information, please call Tiffany Hampton at 805-681-4100. Inquiries may also be sent by email.

Translate »