Proactive approach to missing teens pays off, Red Deer RCMP says
When youth are missing, police quickly send media releases, post on Twitter and Facebook
Police officials say a new media campaign to quickly find missing teenagers is paying off.
In the last month alone, Red Deer RCMP have issued at least six notices to news outlets about missing teens. And almost all missing teen notices now get posted to the RCMP Twitter account and a Facebook page.
Corp. Sarah Knelsen says locating these youth is a top priority.
"If we haven't located them in the first couple of hours certainly a media release would be done on every case,” she said.
"In some cases, the subject, the missing person, doesn't even know that they've been reported as a missing person, so they'll turn themselves in to the RCMP detachment or to the parent or guardian or significant other,” she said.
“So it has increased because the news is getting out there quicker.”
The new, more proactive strategy started about six months ago.
Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer said a recent cash infusion for policing helped bring it about.
"I think we've started to see a shift in the right direction where our police force in Red Deer is shifting from a reactive force to a proactive force,” Veer said.
In most cases, missing teens are found within hours or days.