Police On National Missing Children’s Day: ‘We’re… going to do what we can to find the kids’
South Dakota is recognizing National Missing Children’s Day. State officials are asking parents to look at ways to keep their children safe. Sioux Falls Police say they get hundreds of reports each year. While most of them are runaways, they take plenty of calls regarding children who want and need to be found.
“If it’s a runaway or a missing person, we don’t care. We’re still going to do what we can to find the kids,” said Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens.
Just last week Sioux Falls Police tweeted about 10-year-old Thomas who was last seen near Terrace Park. Almost as soon as police put out a notification on social media, he was found safe. The same day, they posted on Facebook about a 13-year-old who was reported missing; also found safe shortly after. Police say whoever it is, whatever the circumstance, it doesn’t matter.
Clemens said, “We’ve really had a good track record of being able to find these missing kids. It may be a matter of minutes, sometimes it takes a little bit longer and it’s a matter of hours.”
Police say their highest priorities though are typically kids 13 and under.
“They’re not going to have a car, they’re not going to have the friends or access to different resources, so there’s a little bit of a higher priority placed on those younger kids just because there’s a bigger chance that they could be in danger,” said Clemens.
Whether they’re on foot, a bicycle, or in a vehicle, police say kids can travel fast. The sooner you call police, they say, the better.
“There’s no time requirement. You always hear about T.V. and the movies, you have to wait 24 hours. We don’t have that so any missing person regardless if they’re a juvenile or an adult, people can still call and we’ll investigate it and try and find where they’re at,” Clemens said.
There are very few instances that nationwide Amber Alerts are issued. Police say that’s because there is certain victim and suspect information that they have to have in order to ask the state to issue one.
Only about a half-dozen have ever been issued in South Dakota. The most recent was out of Sioux Falls in July of 2015. The alert was cancelled about an hour later after the 1-year-old was found safe in Minnesota.