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Missing: Training and Resources for Missing Child Investigations

Have you ever wondered how and when to activate an AMBER Alert? Would you know when, or if, it was okay to charge a parent with abducting their own child? Do you know where to turn for information and assistance if a child in your jurisdiction is abducted and taken out of the country?

National Missing Children Operations (NMCO), part of the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR), can help.

NMCO, formerly known as National Missing Children Services, connects the RCMP to municipal, regional and provincial police agencies through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and the U.S.’s National Crime Information Centre (NCIC). Internationally, foreign police agencies communicate with NMCO through Interpol. Using this network, NMCO is able to assist in cases of international child abduction, whether the child is taken from Canada to another country, or abducted in another country and brought in to Canada.

To help police officers and other investigators better understand available programs and applicable legislation in missing child cases, NMCO has released two new online courses that are available in both official languages through CPKN:

Additional training, with both online and in-class components, will soon be available. In cooperation with CPKN, three courses designed for Level 1 investigators in the areas of missing children, missing adults, and unidentified remains, are currently under development.

As an integral part of the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children/Behavioural Sciences Branch of the RCMP, NCMPUR offers a range of other specialized services and resources to police, medical examiners, and chief coroners in missing persons and unidentified remains (MP/UR) investigations. In January 2013 NCMPUR launched a national public website (www.canadasmissing.ca / www.disparus-canada.ca ) that profiles missing children, missing persons, and unidentified remains. In addition to offering an avenue by which the public can submit tips on open cases, this website links to National Aboriginal Organizations and NGOs that have submitted applications to be identified. It also provides information about specialized services, related research, and reports.

In the fall of 2012, NCMPUR also published a best practices document for investigating of MP/UR cases. Compiling best practices from across Canada and, where appropriate, internationally, in consultation with investigators from Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains units, this document is available to Canadian law enforcement and coroner/medical examiner agencies.

For more information about NCMPUR or any of our initiatives and services, please email us at canadasmissing-disparuscanada@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.

This article was originally featured in the Spring 2013 issue of Point.Click.Learn. e-newsletter.

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This article was written by Sgt. Jane Boissonneault. Sgt. Boissonneault has been the Non-commissioned Officer in Charge of NMCO since January 2012 when she returned from the UN Mission to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She is a 20 year member of the RCMP, and has worked in Saskatchewan, Quebec, and National HQ in Ottawa.