The Peoria County Sheriff's Office is proud to have one of only thirty-eight Search and Rescue (SAR) units throughout the state of Illinois. The County's SAR Team assists law enforcement agencies in Peoria County in the search of missing persons and evidence pertaining to criminal investigations. The Team can also be deployed to neighboring counties, and elsewhere in the state to help with missing person searches. Indeed, in June of 2012, Peoria County's SAR volunteers found a missing Alzheimer's patient alive in a cornfield in Douglas County, IL. The 76-year-old man had been missing for 24 hours.
The County's SAR Team formed in the spring of 2012 and by fall, almost 40 PCSO Auxiliary deputies, emergency responders, and individuals involved in previous search efforts had been properly trained and certified by Illinois Search and Rescue. Now, the PCSO is seeking interested citizen volunteers to join the team. SAR volunteers receive a minimum of 16 hours of basic training, split between classroom instruction and the field, learning land navigation skills and search techniques.
The Sheriff's Office appreciates the dedication and commitment of its search and rescue volunteers. The SAR Team is an important resource utilized by the PCSO and individuals interested in learning more about becoming a volunteer are encouraged to call Lieutenant Tom Mitzelfelt at 309-634-4492.