ST. LOUIS (KPLR) - Missouri`s database for missing kids is not accurate and it`s raising questions about how to help struggling kids.
We first broke down the numbers in April, showing the large amount of reported missing kids from the St. Louis area, especially from North County. After our investigation former Berkeley Police Chief Frank McCall Jr., now commander in Ferguson, reviewed his department’s missing kid reports.
He said, “All we`re doing is trying to be a little more efficient in what we do and at the same time showing our community we`re not just going to rely on you to follow up with us. We`re going to follow up with you.”
Commander McCall said Ferguson police located seven of the eight missing kids after investigating. He said Berkeley found about half of the 33 missing there.
McCall added, “The thing we`ve begun doing since the report is what we call a self-audit. We`re going to do at least quarterly. We will audit our missing juveniles that are in the system. Basically that`s going to assign an officer or detective to follow up on these cases.”
Meanwhile in Moline Acres, Detective Sergeant David Bobo said he asked firefighters to search the old abandoned Top of Tower building on 367. He said thankfully they found no one inside, but he`s going to have firefighters sweep it a second time right before the city boards it up.
Now that police departments are following up, officers are asking the community to work with them. Commander McCall says families are not always following up to say their runaways returned. But he emphasized, police accounting for formerly missing kids doesn't diminish this problem.
McCall explained, “They might have left because they were angry, arguments whatever. Ok they`re a runaway, but once they`re on that street they become prey at times and we don`t know what that child becomes exposed to when they`re out there. It`s a shame, but people take advantage of kids.”
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