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Missing Persons

A child goes missing every 40 seconds in the United States.  Your child has a 1 in 42 chance of going missing.  Because the first few hours of disappearance are the most crucial, the Raritan Township Police Department rapidly responds to all missing persons reports.  With a coordinated effort that includes the citizens in our community, we increase the likelihood of locating the missing child quickly and safely.  Additionally, the Raritan Township Police Department conducts missing persons investigations for other at-risk residents such as the disabled and elderly.


The Raritan Township Police Department has formalized an agreement with the "A Child Is Missing" alert program.  A Child Is Missing is a Fort Lauderdale, Florida based non-profit organization founded in 1997 that is devoted to assisting law enforcement in the search and early safe recovery efforts of children, the elderly, and disabled persons via a rapid-response neighborhood alert program utilizing a high-tech telephone messaging system.

Upon receipt of a verified missing persons report, the responding patrol officer will contact a technician at A Child Is Missing.  The technician initiates a rapid process of information gathering that includes sophisticated mapping systems.  An aerial view of the region is seen, complete with street names, local landmarks, type of terrian, business listings, restaurants, schools, water, parks, bus and train stations and more.  It allows the technician to intuitively grasp distance, scale, proximity, and know the region as a whole.  All of this information could prove invaluable when evaluating a missing child scenario.  Armed with this tool, “hotspots” can be identified:  areas to where a missing child might gravitate.  A child’s curiosity might lead them to a lake.  A wandering pre-teen on a cold evening might seek the warmth and camouflage of a fast food restaurant.  Further, the technician can seamlessly follow a likely path of a missing person and reasonably predict the best search zone.

After the search zone is determined, the technician creates a customized pre-recorded telephone message detailing the missing persons descriptive information, his or her last known location, possible destinations, and the contact information for the investigating police agency.  The message is then sent electronically to the community in the search zone.  A Child Is Missing can place 1,000 telephone calls in 60 seconds, can process multiple cases simultaneously, and can work without jurisdictional boundaries.

The technician continues to work with the investigating officer until the missing person has been found.  If needed, the search zone can be expanded as the investigation progresses.  After locating the missing person, the investigating officer contacts A Child Is Missing to stop the search.

To date, A Child Is Missing has assisted in over 650 safe recoveries across the United States.  More information can be found at the A Child Is Missing website.

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