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Thursday, June 30, 2022
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A Look at How Dallas PD Handles Missing Persons Cases


Dallas Police Department | Image by The Dallas Morning News

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Over one year, the Dallas Police Department generally handles approximately 5,000 missing person cases, with roughly 2,000 classified as runaways, WFAA reports.

Detective Ryan Dalby, a missing person investigator with DPD, receives five to six new cases per day.

When a detective is assigned a case, they post the missing individual’s photo to national databases and occasionally share the information on the Ring camera app.

“We can figure out which direction they left [on the app],” said Dalby. “Did they go north, south, east, or west? Did they get on a bus? And we can look at cameras.”

According to police, juveniles are treated as runaway cases until relatives and friends are interviewed, and evidence is gathered that would advance the case.

“Every case that comes in is investigated the same, but if there is a case that has more to it and [it is] more of an emergency to try to find that person and [we] believe they are in specific dangers, we will bring in other units to help us out,” said Police Lt. Glen Hurst.

The images and information of the minors are also submitted to the National Crime Information Center. This system notifies law enforcement of the runaway status of the juvenile should their name and date of birth be run through the database.

According to the Dallas Police Department, parents can assist by obtaining their teen’s phone information so that officers can access phone records; otherwise, police must obtain a warrant, which takes time. They also recommend that parents watch their children’s phone and social media usage.

Law enforcement offers information to children who have run away from home and their parents to help them make better decisions and avoid returning to the streets.       

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