Public urged to join in search for missing children
CALGARY - Two top Canadian law enforcement officials reminded Canadians today that their help is critical in the search for missing children.
"Tens of thousands of children go missing in Canada every year," RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said in a video released to mark International Missing Children's Day.
"As police, we are the link to the community, " she said. "But we can’t be everywhere, at all times."
"The public serves as an extra set of eyes and ears for the police and is a voice for missing children," Chief Bryan Larkin, President of the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, said in the video.
Amanda Pick, CEO of the Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC), pointed to the MCSC rescu app, which has become a vital communication tool between police and the public. Police cases of missing children are posted to the app and people with information about that child can send it through to app.
"We rely on you just as you rely on us," Lucki said. "No tip is too small to make a difference,"
In 2021, federal figures showed there were 28,033 police reports of missing children and youth across Canada. The information is compiled by the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains, with data filed into the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC).
The Missing Children Society of Canada believes one missing child is one too many.
"MCSC developed rescu to make sure no missing child goes unseen," Pick said, pointing out users can access rescu.mcsc.ca online, or search “MCSC rescu” in the app stores.
"We need your eyes and support. On International Missing Children’s Day…and every day."
International Missing Children's Day.
May 25 is designated as International Missing Children Day, a day marked around the world to remember children who are missing and those who have been found. Canada also recognizes Missing Children’s Day on May 25 and it is marked in various ways across the country with events that are both public and private.
What is MCSC?
The Missing Children Society of Canada was established in 1986 in Calgary and has evolved from an organization distributing posters to find a missing child, to one embracing the latest technology to help police in the search for that child.
MCSC is a member of the Global Missing Children’s Network, an organization that includes agencies from more than 30 countries around the world. Members of the network share ideas, tools and research related to missing children and child abduction.
MCSC rescu is an easy-to-use app that contains updated information from police on missing children in Canada, downloadable to phones and other devices from Google Play and the App Store. It was developed for MCSC with help from private sector partners Esri Canada and Microsoft.
Active cases are divided by region and tips on specific cases can be submitted with one click on the app's case page. Users are also invited to share that case page with their contacts, through networks, including text, email, and other social media such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
App users can also register to receive SMS alerts on cases in their area police deem critical, but that don't meet the specific criteria required to become an AMBER Alert.
Combined, these steps are part of what is referred to as the Child Search Network.
In February 2021, the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police officially endorsed MCSC rescu and MCSC’s Child Search Network as a national system designed for use when high-risk missing children cases don’t meet the strict criteria for an AMBER Alert.
For more information and to discuss missing children please call Amanda Pick, CEO, Missing Children Society of Canada at 1-403-510-6942.