According to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), in 2014 there were 84,924 active missing person’s records as of December 31st. In that same report it revealed that in total, 645,155 people had gone missing for the entire year. With these numbers being so high, it is apparent law enforcement and public have a lot on their plate. So what can be done to help these agencies not only find people, but find them faster and more efficiently?
One way for an agency to decrease the time it takes to locate an individual is to leverage a community engagement solution. This can help expedite the process by getting residents and community members involved, making them aware of the situation and utilizing them as the “eyes and ears” on the street. Recently, the Oswego Police Department did just that by using their Everbridge Mass Notification System along with social media. They were able to not only locate a missing child, but do so in under two hours because of tips flowing in from concerned residents.
“Police said residents were listening. According to police, numerous tips were received from residents who had seen and noticed the boy after receiving the Everbridge notification.
At around 5:58 p.m., the boy was spotted in the 2400 block of Wilson Creek Circle in Aurora by a resident who lives on the block and had heard about the missing child. Police were called and the boy was safely located, Nevara said.”
This isn’t the first time that a notification system has been able to aid in the search for a missing person. Back in January of 2014, Oakland PD utilized their Nixle keyword opt-in and zip-code opt-in groups to help them locate a missing person. Oakland sent the following message:
“The Oakland Police Department would like to share with the community the power of information sharing and community networking. In the last half hour the Berkeley Police Department requested assistance from OPD in locating a missing person at risk. We sent out a NIXLE Alert to our community members in the targeted area. Shortly after sending the NIXLE Alert, a subscriber, who was enjoying an evening walk received the alert and realized the missing man had just walked past her. She immediately contacted the Berkeley Police Department and the at-risk man is now safe.”
For public safety agencies, it is important to use whatever tools and means at your disposal. The longer it takes to find someone, the less likely the outcome might be successful. A community engagement solution that allows for two-way communication between agencies and the public can help ensure these events, among others, are resolved quickly and successfully. To learn more about Everbridge’s solution, visit or Community Engagement Page.
Check out our Community Engagement Video below!
Resources you might be interested in:
- Keyword is the New Hashtag: Improving Event Management with Effective Communication
- 9 Social Media Best Practices For Law Enforcement