Omaha Police explains how they decide when to seek help from the public about missing persons
OMAHA, Nebraska — Recently, there have been a number of high-profile cases involving people who have gone missing.
3 News Now have received a few letters from people wondering why we weren’t covering a case they were close to wondering why we weren’t covering the case. We will only publish on situations that have been confirmed by law enforcement authorities as active missing person cases in which the general public’s assistance in locating a missing person is requested.
On Friday, the law enforcement division of the Omaha Police Department discussed the factors that go into making that choice.
There were 41 people registered in Nebraska’s missing persons clearinghouse as of the time this article was written. The clearinghouse is managed by the Nebraska State Patrol. However, there are a significantly smaller number of cases that receive heightened attention from law enforcement and the media.
According to Omaha Police Sgt. Brett Schrage, who works in the missing persons unit, in a typical year the Omaha Police Department receives reports of 2,800 missing minors. According to what he said, the vast majority are runaways.
Compare this to the number of times he claims the OPD will routinely send out requests for assistance from the public: Perhaps five to ten per annum.
According to what he had to say, “if we forced every single one of our missing persons reports out to the media… it would dilute the message.” “At some point, people would reach the point where they would simply kind of become indifferent to the fact that we were continually pushing out all those different situations.”
According to Schrage, each each instance is evaluated on its own merits. However, there are several things that would be regarded red flags, and these things include small children and older persons who could be confused, a suicide note, or any other indication of risk that the police can verify.
Schrage was quoted as saying, “People will tell us their hunches.” “And all of it is the material… on which we expand. However, if we are unable to independently verify the accuracy of that material, we will not be able to base our decisions on that information.”
According to Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Assistant Director Mitch Mortvedt, who also talked with 3 News Now, not all cases include an element that makes law enforcement authorities concerned about an imminent threat. Their organization will not get engaged unless another local organization specifically asks for their help.
Mortvedt was quoted as saying that “to an extent… an adult has a right to go missing.” “But if it’s something that’s outside the normal pattern of behavior for them… I don’t want to speak for every law enforcement agency, but it would depend on the circumstances,” you said. “But if it’s something that’s outside the normal pattern of behavior for them,” you said. “But if it’s something that
He stated that anyone can make a missing person report.
“The main things would be if it’s a youngster and there’s a suspicion of foul play, or if it’s an adult who is reliant on the child,” said Mortvedt.
In the state of Nebraska, there are instances that may satisfy the requirements for an Endangered Missing Advisory. According to the spokesperson for the Nebraska State Patrol, Cody Thomas, they are shared on social media and forwarded to the media, but individuals can sign up to get those.
They do not send notifications to phones in the same way that AMBER alerts do. AMBER alerts are only issued in the event of missing children or teenagers.
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