Monday, March 17, 2008

Law Enforcement Help for Missing Adults

Some law enforcement agencies are reluctant to take a report of a missing adult. Stress that you are concerned for his or her safety. The following will help you work with law enforcement more effectively to find the missing person.

• Write down the name of the officer who takes the report as well as the badge number, telephone number and the police report number.

• Keep a notebook and record all information on the investigation.

• See if the person can be entered into NCIC (National Crime Information Computer). The person must be entered here or other law enforcement agencies won’t know that your child has been reported as missing if the child is picked up or a check has been run on them for something else.

• Make fingerprint and dental records available to the police.

• Have the cell phone number of the missing individual tracked for last record of activity. If the cell phone has GPS capabilities, this is even better.

• If there are medical or emotional concerns, make sure they are clearly stated when filing the report.

• If a vehicle is involved, make sure the license is also entered into NCIC

• Most often with an adult missing, the families do the majority of the searching.

• Don’t cancel a bankcard or credit card. It might be smarter to have law enforcement “flag” these cards so that if used, they will be notified, and might lead you to a paper trail of your loved one or someone who knows where your loved one is.

Team Work
Establish a teamwork approach with law enforcement. Cooperation with them is essential. You can also expect law enforcement to ask some hard and difficult questions. Do not take this personally. Respond as best you can and try to remember as many details as you can. Remember; keep your focus on the missing person.

Law Enforcement Contacts
Establish or have law enforcement establish a contact person within your local law enforcement agency so you are consistently and accurately informed of on-going developments in your case. Understand that at times, law enforcement many not be able to share all aspects of the investigation with you.

Seek more help.
Set up a command center for volunteers to help with searching and to hold awareness events. Keeping the story in the media will help with exposure and generating leads. Seek outside help with licensed private investigators who might be willing to look into the situation. Sometimes they are able to generate leads law enforcement cannot.

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