Police Volunteers Praised for Locating At-Risk Teen
Volunteer Director Giles (L) and Police Volunteer Kunkel (R)
Source: Santa Barbara Police Department
Santa Barbara Police Volunteer Instrumental in Locating At-Risk Teen
On May 11th, 2019 at approximately 10 P.M. a developmentally-delayed and insulin-dependent young man walked away from his home in the 2000 Block of Modoc Road. The family notified the Santa Barbara Police Department the next morning after an exhaustive search by family and friends.
After an initial search by Police did not yield any leads, at noon the Santa Barbara Police Department requested the public’s help via Nixle text-alert, several social media applications, and by media press release.
Several classmates of the at-risk male spotted him near Eastside Neighborhood Park and immediately notified authorities. They were alerted to his status because of the Police Department’s social media post and text alert.
Upon being sighted and identified as missing, the young man fled into Upper Sycamore Creek near East Mason Street and Citrus Avenue.
With the help of the classmates, arriving Officers set up a blocks-wide perimeter while the teens and a Santa Barbara Police Volunteer entered the creek bed in search of the young man.
Because of the quick action and information provided by the teens, Police felt confident they had corralled the young man within a 500 foot portion of the creek bed. However, the thick foliage of the creek meant that each sight-line was narrowed to about 30 feet, offering many ways to remain concealed.
Santa Barbara Police Department VIP (Volunteer in Policing) Dale Kunkel spotted the young man crouching in foliage to avoid detection. Kunkel coaxed the young man with the aid of his friends to walk out of the creek on his own volition.
The young man was reunited with his family at the scene.
Kunkel, who was not scheduled to work that day, voluntarily suited-up to aid police when he saw via electronic post that the department was attempting to locate two separate at-risk missing individuals at the same time.
On July 7th, 2017 the Santa Barbara Police Department launched the Volunteers in Policing Program (VIPs). To date, this uniformed cadre has contributed almost three thousand volunteer hours to the City -- promoting community awareness and bolstering safety.
Each volunteer participates in personally rewarding and meaningful work, including but not limited to: foot patrols; assisting constituents in the police lobby; reviewing surveillance video for investigative leads; visiting the homes of seniors in our community at risk of scams; acting as a volunteer Administrative Hearing Officer for parking citations; conducting traffic control / road closures during recent natural disasters; assisting Animal Control; co-writing grants; attending various community meetings on behalf of the Department; and conducting other research tailored to their experience, skills, and public service motivation.
Interested in becoming a VIP? The Department is seeking active and healthy participants who can commit to 20 hours per month. This equal opportunity position requires each successful candidate to pass a comprehensive background investigation prior to appointment. Contact Howie Giles at [email protected]
Source: Santa Barbara Police Department
UPDATE: BOTH FOUND SAFE & UNHARMED Alert: Male found with the aid of social media; Female found by local search and rescue crews.
TWO (2) Separate At-Risk Missing Individuals in City
At-Risk Developmentally-Delayed, Insulin-Dependent Missing Male
Marc “Anthony” Flores
Age: 18 Height: 5’6” 160LBS Brown Eyes
Wearing: Black hooded sweatshirt, black pants, black back-pack
Walked away from home last night at 10 P.M. Did not take medication with him. May behave more like a 10-12 year old.
At-Risk Missing Female Adult: Memory-Challenged
Age: 70 Height: 5’5” 103 LBS Brown Hair; Gray Eyes
Wearing: Black Fedora hat; black pajama pants; black pajama shirt; red vest – white Bishop Diego logo
Last Seen: 10 A.M. TODAY; In the vicinity of the 500 Block of Santa Barbara Street; Known to walk to Montecito, Salinas Street and Cliff Drive