Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. In the daily report, when there is a notice of a runaway/missing person, it often does not reflect in the 'Juneau Missing Person' tab...why is that?
Dear Juneau Resident,
The daily bulletin shows each runaway/missing person who is called in but isn't a good resource for seeing when someone comes back, since the original case is updated.
The website is JPD's request to the public to help us look for someone. That request is not always appropriate until some time has passed or information becomes available indicating the person is in some particular danger.
We don't post information on the website about minors if the family or guardian objects. Sometimes we are working with the Troopers or on our own and have a pretty good idea where the person is. Officers and search teams are already out looking for the person in the woods or at different residences. We might not post the information about that person until law enforcement has followed up on the initial leads and the person is not found.
If our investigation into the original report shows the person is likely to be voluntarily missing in order to avoid school, family, or to spend time with someone the family dislikes, we may give them some time before we ask for help from the public in locating the person. People having those issues often come back in a few hours and more attention, more people knowing, increases their stress and makes things worse for them.
JPD also wants to avoid asking people to look for someone and then remove the request a few hours later, than post the same person missing a few hours after that. We see that pattern of someone repeatedly running away fairly often with teenagers. Sometimes the issue is less about being missing more about a family needing some help in working out a situation.
JPD has responded to family requests to put up information and a picture immediately because they have information about how endangered the person might be that didn't get shared in the initial report. Each missing person report is unique and will be treated as such. Families or close friends should call JPD if they have a concern that the website should be used in that person's case and the information has not been posted.