OMAHA, Neb. — State officials hope to improve Nebraska’s list of missing people and the way it’s compiled and updated.
The Nebraska State Patrol hosts the central missing-persons website for the state, the Omaha World-Herald reported . The Nebraska Missing Persons Clearinghouse was created in 2005.
“It’s a single place the public can go and get information about all missing persons in Nebraska and receive information with credibility,” said Sgt. Richard Aldag.
Two civilian patrol workers manually enter missing-persons information from law enforcement agencies or the national missing-persons database. The patrol entered more than 7,600 reports this year, about 80 percent of which have been for juveniles.
“The problem is volume,” said Omaha Police Capt. Michele Bang. “We count on the fact that most of them are going to be found. Which one’s going to be the needle in the haystack that’s the one that we should be focusing on?”
Officials consider abnormal behavior, family history and risk factors such as age, mental health and circumstances of the disappearance when determining if a missing person may be in danger.
The patrol is looking into automating the list to eliminate discrepancies and immediately update the list, Aldag said. If someone is reported missing over the weekend, the person’s name won’t be added to the list until Monday.
Automation would allow the state patrol to “turn it down to a matter of hours, from when the report comes in, populated and available for the public,” Aldag said.
Officials will meet with developers next month to discuss the switch.
More than 80 law enforcement agencies had reported more than 570 people missing as of Friday. The list contains both newly reported cases and cold cases. An average of 22 people are added to the list daily.
Information from: Omaha World-Herald, http://www.omaha.com