As the Prince William County Police Department (PWCPD) continues to grow, they have taken another step in the direction of improving the efficiency of their organization.
After a complete internal review of policies and procedures, the PWCPD has created a Missing Persons Unit.
A sworn supervisor, two full-time sworn detectives and a civilian specialist will constitute this new unit, which will exist under the Criminal Investigations Division, according to a release from the PWCPD.
This unit is the result of a culmination of information gathered from several peer reviews and through models recommended by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), and the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).
All missing persons cases, adult or juvenile, will be the responsibility of this new unit regardless of the voluntary, involuntary or endangered status of the person.
The Missing Persons Unit will work collaboratively with other units such as the School Resource Unit, which will also continue to play a role in cases concerning voluntary missing juveniles.
This new addition to the police department, is anticipated to grow over time leading to enhanced services such as a website, which would include information on missing individuals to keep the community notified and allow for people to potentially aid in the locating of such persons.
The primary concern of the PWCPD is the safety of its residents. Through the addition of this new unit, it hopes to connect many more missing persons with their loved ones.
“When a loved one is reported missing in Prince William County, it is imperative that we as the Police Department do all we can to locate that individual and reunite them with their families,” PWCPD Chief Barry Barnard said in a release.
This article was written by Contributing Writer Patricia Keitz.
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