Working with Police
While the police may be a critical resource in the search for your runaway child it is important to know that their level of involvement may vary depending on a number of factors. In some cases, where level of risk to a runaway child is deemed to be high, police may have a very active and lead role in the search. However, in other cases, the role of the police may be more limited and will vary from police agency to police agency depending on policy and resources available. Once you have made a police report you will need to find out what action police are preparing to take in the search for your child. This information will help you better understand what is being done and what steps you will need to take.
What You Can Expect From Law Enforcement
Remember that in Canada, you do not have to wait to report your child missing.
Police will take your report and enter your child missing in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC).
When you first contact the police, make sure you ask for the following information:
An incident number
The name of the officer taking the report
A phone number for follow up (ask if the case will be assigned to a specific investigator)
If you have difficulty making a report to the police, please contact MissingKids.ca immediately at 1-866-KID-TIPS.
Again, police response to runaway children cases may vary depending on their resources, internal policy, and current workloads and their assessment of risk.
The best tool that you have when engaging the police is your knowledge of your child. Providing accurate, current information about your child, their circumstances and any other helpful information will impact how police respond to your case.
- Once law enforcement is contacted, consider contacting MissingKids.ca or filling out the MissingKids.ca Initial Intake form if you wish to receive services.
- MissingKids.ca can help you liaise with police services, and can advocate on your behalf to the police if needed.
- It is absolutely critical that you are honest with police. They are a partner in helping locate your child and need to be aware of any circumstances surrounding the disappearance –regardless of how this will reflect on you or your family. If you are not honest with them, they may waste valuable time questioning the accuracy of your information. In order to ensure their cooperation, you must cooperate fully. No parent is perfect and what is important is having your child safely located.
- When the police are actively investigating, consult with them on any search efforts you plan to make. They may have information that you are not aware of.
- Build a relationship as quickly as possible with the lead investigator on your child’s case and/or work with a non-profit agency like MissingKids.ca, who can help you bridge this connection.
- MissingKids.ca is here to assist you in the search for your missing child. Call or visit www.missingkids.ca for support.