Citizens on Patrol Found Missing Madera Toddler

September 16, 2009 1:17:46 AM PDT
Monday night during Action News Live at 11:00 p.m. we showed you the safe return of a Madera County toddler who had been missing for several hours.Action News caught up with the retired couple who found the girl huddled in a vineyard. It turns out these volunteers are quite well known for their acts of kindness.

Dave and Susan Myers have volunteered for the sheriff's department for five years. They answered the call for help Monday night the minute they got word about a missing toddler. The couple found her after close to five hours of an intense search.

Susan and Dave Myers smiled as if it were their own granddaughter they had safe in their arms.

"When you handed the little girl to her mom that thought she was lost and you say here's your little girl. There's nothing that can compare to that. It was just awesome, I cried (laughs)," said Susan Myers.

Bundled up in Dave's oversized green jacket, little Michelle seemed tired, a little dusty but otherwise fine. Dave says he was searching near a ditch when he unexpectedly ran across the girl's dog.

Dave Myers said, "My spotlight picked up the dog. A little white dog about so high. And then she saw me and then she just got up on her feet and started walking towards me with her hands in the air and she was crying."

Although the Myers are retired, they really aren't. They just don't earn a paycheck now. Together they volunteer hundreds of hours a year as Citizens on Patrol in Madera County.

Monday night, the Myers realized it's through serving their community that they find the richest rewards.

Susan Myers said, "It was really neat. It was exciting."

"It makes you feel really good that you were able to do something that matters," said Dave Myers.

Tuesday the Myers brushed up on new laws and welcomed the latest citizen recruits in a class at the sheriff's department. The hope is that others will follow in the Myers' footsteps.

Right now the sheriff's department has 27 volunteers, but they call on the Myers often because they are willing and available.

As more people become involved in the program, hopefully they can work a little less. But they told me they still have a few good years left of service.

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