Monday, June 13, 2005

Missing children & LA

Today’s Times-Picayune ran an article about a recent Scripps Howard News Service study examining how well states handle missing children cases. Today’s article notes the study found “at least 4,498 runaway, lost and abducted children were not reported to the FBI, a failure rate of 12 percent.” But Louisiana’s failure rate is nearly twice the national average at 23 percent – with only Hawaii performing more poorly. In fact, Shreveport had a failure rate of 56 percent with the Shreveport Police Department spokesperson saying “There’s no need to report a national missing child when we know where he is at. We pretty much find all of our children.” The Scripps Howard study suggested that failure to report “runaway, lost and abducted children” is an “apparent violation” of the National Child Search Assistance Act of 1990 (more info here). If that’s the case, then Louisiana’s poor performance might end up affecting more than just the kids who aren’t reported missing. Representative Mark Foley, co-chairman of the U.S. Congress’s House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children remarked, “We track library books better than we track our missing children. How can we allow this to happen?” Indeed, the results of the study reported in today’s paper raise issues that Louisiana might be wise to start thinking about compliance with the National Child Search Assistance Act sooner rather than later. For more info about missing children, check the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.