Bowser Launches Initiatives for Missing Youth Cases

The Six Initiatives Focus on Prevention, Solving and Investing in Youth Programs

Missing Person report from MPD. (Photo: MPD)

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser created several new initiatives March 24 to solve the perceived increase in the number of missing youths that have appeared on DC Police’s missing persons reports in the last few weeks.   

MPD has upped their social media alerts of youth lost or missing in the District as of late. The increase in reports has alarmed the public, sparking community meetings and calls on the District’s leadership to do a better job of finding and preventing these youth from disappearing.

On March 23, the Congressional Black Caucus requested that the FBI assist MPD in the missing reports investigations.

Bowser’s new initiatives include six strategies across the District:

  • Increasing the number of MPD officers assigned to the Children and Family Services Division;
  • Expanding the MPD Missing Persons webpage and social media messaging (including case catalogs with more information);
  • Establishing the Missing Persons evaluation and reconnection resources collaborative (with the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA), the Office of victim Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG), and community-based organizations for youth);
  • Create a lead working group between CFSA and OVSJG (to track trends, open cases, manage resources and develop a protocol and prevention efforts);
  • Provide additional grant support from the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services (DMHHS) office and the OVSJGA for nonprofits addressing runaway youth;
  • Put out a PSA campaign to education the public on how the District addresses missing youth cases and what people can do.

“Through social media, we have been able to highlight this problem and bring awareness to open cases,” Bowser said in a statement. “Now we are doing more to ensure that families and children are receiving the wraparound services they need to keep families together and children safe.”

Missing persons in the District are classified as “critical” under the age of 15 and over the age of 65. There is no wait time requirement before sending an alert. According to MPD, no evidence points to human trafficking in the recent cases. Also, MPD reports a decrease in missing children cases from 2015 to 2016, from 2,433 to 2,242. 

Here's MPD's Missing Persons case site: mpdc.dc.gov/missingpersons


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