The Village of Skokie Goes High Tech to Search for Missing Persons
The Skokie Police Department has announced an agreement with the A Child Is Missing (ACIM) alert program that creates a high-tech method to search locally for missing children, missing elderly, college students and missing persons who may be mentally or physically challenged or disabled.
Upon receipt of a missing person call, the Skokie Police Department may contact ACIM, which initiates a rapid process of information gathering and sophisticated mapping systems which expedites thousands of phone calls within minutes.
- A Child is Missing gives an overview to their response protocol:
- A person calls the police department to report a missing child, elderly or disabled person.
- The police department then calls A Child Is Missing on a toll-free number.
- A Child is Missing takes all pertinent information, including:
- Name of law enforcement agency
- City, county and state of agency
- Name of person missing
- Date of Birth
- Height and Weight
- Hair and Eye color
- Clothing description
- Any scars or other physical characteristics
- Any medical/psychological conditions to be aware of
- Home address including zip code
- Location last seen with zip code if different than residence
- Police department phone number for the public to call to report information
- Case # or Reference # assigned to the case
- If there is water or wooded areas in the vicinity
- Have friends and family been contacted
- Has the person gone missing before
- Is there foul play, kidnapping or parental abduction suspected
- If the missing is a child, is the agency aware of any sexual predators within 1 mile of the last seen address
- A Child Is Missing also requests a cell or beeper number to reach the officer on the scene for additional information.
- A Child is Missing (ACIM) then makes a recorded message with the information that has been supplied.
- The call features a customized recorded message detailing the missing persons description and last known whereabouts and will include a Skokie Police Department phone number to be called by anyone who has information regarding the location of the missing person.
- The location last seen is entered into the computer and a database of phone numbers of the residents/businesses is gathered. The message is then sent out to the community.
- Phone numbers that are called by this program include listed numbers and mobile numbers available to ACIM in the selected area. Mobile numbers, unlisted numbers, broadband/voice-over IP numbers, or TDD/TTY devices can be added to ensure they, too, are called in the event of an alert.
- When a child is reported missing near water, the immediate area is canvassed with the message, then the search area is expanded if the child has not been found.
- ACIM continues to work with the officer on the scene and/or the communications department until the missing person has been found.
- After recovery, the agency calls ACIM to stop the search. ACIM then faxes a case follow-up form to the officer/agency to be filled out, documenting the conclusion of the case. The agency then faxes the form back to ACIM. This documentation assists ACIM in obtaining funding to continue offering their services to law enforcement.
Visit www.achildismissing.org and click on “add your name” to enter your name, number, and address. This information will only be used for emergency message alerts. ACIM is a nationwide non-profit organization that helps law enforcement agencies locate missing persons.
To date the efforts of ACIM have been credited with more than 1,090 safe assisted recoveries. For more information please contact the Skokie Police Department at (847)982-5900.