Spike In Missing Persons Reports a Make Up for Jahmeshia Conner?

By Andrew Greiner and Anthony Ponce
|  Tuesday, Dec 8, 2009  |  Updated 2:09 PM CDT
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After receiving heated criticism for not alerting the media to the disappearance of  12-year-old  Jahmeshia Conner, Chicago Police are amping up the frequency of their missing persons reports.

Conner was found strangled to death in a South Side alley after she had been missing for two weeks and the police department received scrutiny for letting her slip through the cracks.

Since Friday, however, the Chicago Police Department has issued no less than 11 missing persons alerts to the media, the Chicago Tribune notes.

Police department spokesmen said Monday the increase in reports is due to a tweak in their procedures.

Prior to last week just one news affairs shift was responsible for sending the alerts to the media. But now all three shifts send “Critical Reach” alerts, a department spokesperson said.

Detectives are charged with creating the “Critical Reach” reports, which are then disseminated by news affairs.

A “Critical Reach” alert was created for Conner two days after she went missing, but it was never sent. The CPD is investigating why that didn’t happen.

Childrens' interest groups, like the National Runaway Switchboard, consider the CPD's changes to be an improvement.

However, warns Executive Director Maureen Blaha, the potential down-side to reporting every case is that the public might become "de-sensitized" over time.


 

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