By Diane Groomes, Assistant Chief of Police, District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)
We would like to share the following information with you regarding “Missing Persons.”
When you have a child, family member or loved one go missing from Washington DC, you should report it to the police immediately (you may want to canvass or make phone calls to verify first)… by reporting it to police is to call 911.
Please remember that if the child or family member is missing from another jurisdiction such as Maryland or Virginia or last seen there … you would contact those authorities vs MPD.
MPD will come to your location and initiate a command post when one is deemed “critical” – under the age of 15 yrs old or over the age of 65 yrs old, or if one has mental health issues or drug dependency or if the case has “foul play” involved.
Also, MPD will ask to look around the residence to ensure the missing person is not inside said premises and also ask you for the following information that you should have handy:
- Personal information such as date of birth, names, nicknames;
- Photograph – current one;
- Areas that this person hangs out or works;
- Persons that they date or may stay with at times (addresses and phone #s);
- Relative information; and
- History of missing in the past (runaway) or drug use, mental health issues.
This information will assist in the follow up that will be conducted by MPD members. The MPD will then take an incident report and conduct interviews/canvassing and an investigation.
We want to remind all that there is NO time requirement to report one missing (ie: there is no 24 hour waiting period) … MPD is to take a report without delay.
I hope that these tips are helpful. Should you have questions regarding Missing Person protocols, please contact our Youth Division at (202) 576-6768.
Editor’s Note: Laws and guidance on reporting missing persons vary from state to state. Please contact your local police department for specific information.
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