Deputy's eye was quicker than technology in this missing person case

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - An elderly Rapid City man is safe, thanks to a Pennington County deputy’s keen eye.

Lt. Dustin Morrison, demonstrates Project Lifesaver tracking equipment. The program at the Pennington County Sheriff's Office helps keep people who need 24-hour supervision safe. (photo courtesy Pennington County Sheriff's Office)

The man was reported missing by his wife about 4 a.m. Sunday. She had last seen him around 10 p.m. the night before when she went to bed.

When the report came in, the Sheriff’s Office began to power up tracking equipment used to find missing people in program called “Project Lifesaver.”

According to a PCSO release, that’s when Deputy Patrick Rose spotted the man a couple of blocks from his home, walking in the Grandview Elementary playground area. The man is reportedly OK.

Project Lifesaver is used for people who are on 24-hour supervision and at a risk of being lost. It was developed to find missing persons with dementia, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, Down syndrome and other related issues. The caregiver fills out an application and meets with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. The person is outfitted with a bracelet. A transmitter, receiver, antenna and headphones are kept in an onsite home or office.

“This gentleman was found safe,” says Lieutenant Dustin Morrison, “but it underscores a unique program that may be helpful to many in Pennington County. Project Lifesaver can make all the difference in finding an at-risk person who wanders away.”

PCSO volunteers change batteries every six weeks. The monitoring device is typically worn on the person’s ankle. Currently the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office has two sets of volunteers who oversee 14 units. A total of 18 units are available.

If you have questions about the program or think your loved one could be a good fit for the program, contact Lieutenant Morrison at (605) 394-6113.


Under Project Lifesaver, people who might go missing wear a bracelet that transmits the wearer's location. This helps law enforcement find missing people. (photo courtesy Pennington County Sheriff's Office)
Lt. Dustin Morrison, demonstrates Project Lifesaver tracking equipment. The program at the Pennington County Sheriff's Office helps keep people who need 24-hour supervision safe. (photo courtesy Pennington County Sheriff's Office)