Bringing Those Who are Missing Home Safe
One of Pasco Sheriff’s Office’s most common calls for service is to find missing people. From runaway individuals, to those experiencing a medical condition or thoughts of self harm, our goal is the same; bring those who are missing home safe.
Pasco Sheriff’s Office recently updated our policies for posting missing people on our social media and news website. We now post runaway individuals to our social media accounts and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office News website at https://news.pascosheriff.com. Our online presence and social media audience often help us find those who are missing and generates tips quickly.
PSO has forefront resources available to assist with bringing missing individuals home safely. Pasco Sheriff’s Office Aviation unit assists with missing person search and recovery missions, deploying drones and helicopters that can cover a wider range and travel at a faster pace from the air. Our K9s are vital to these searches, often working faster than deputies searching alone and bringing home those that are missing. PSO also has the Missing and Abducted Child Team (MAC), who responds to calls in Pasco County where children are critically missing due to health issues, age or other reasons, as well as child abductions.
Wandering is the most life-threatening behavior that leads to missing people. SafetyNet was developed to help public safety agencies bring loved ones with cognitive conditions home when they go missing. Once an individual is reported missing, SafetyNet is notified and activates their device. Once activated, the device emits a continuous radio frequency signal for rescue teams to track. If you have a loved one who is prone to wandering you can learn more by visiting http://safetynettracking.com or calling 727-844-7781.
If you suspect someone may attempt running away, encourage them to work through their problems through other means. Pasco Sheriff’s Office has compiled community-based resources on our website to help serve our citizens. Resources are available for various challenges citizens may encounter, including mental health concerns, houselessness, suicidal thoughts and more. This resource list was developed to give those seeking assistance a place to start when they may not know how. To see these resources, visit PascoSheriff.com/MentalHealth.html
Rapid reporting increases the chance of a safe return. You do not need to wait 24 hours for someone to be considered missing. Gathering information such as the individual’s last known location, date and time seen can help law enforcement begin their search. Preparing a physical description of the individual, including their approximate height, weight, date of birth, hair and eye color, a description of the clothes they were last seen wearing and any distinct physical markings they may have helps as well. We try to use recent photos, which are often provided by family or a guardian.
To be clear, there is not an increase in runaway or missing persons cases in our community. We strive to find missing people quickly and safely. We publicly provide information the help the community identify someone to bring them home safe. Our goal remains the same: bring these individuals home, safe and sound. With the community’s help, and in line with our motto of “We Fight as One,” we’re able to do just that.