Washington, D.C. Mayor Implements Task Force to Help Find Missing Children

Over the past few weeks, a hot-button issue has been the missing teenage girls in Washington, D.C. The public outcry has been loud with many wondering if law enforcement even cares or is exercising every effort to return those young girls to their families.

Social media has been key in this situation allowing the criticism to be amplified, but it has also been spreading false information. Several memes have been circulating on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram saying a dozen Black teenage girls went missing in a span of 24 hours in Washington, D.C. This is not true, and according to law enforcement officials, there really hasn’t been an increase in missing girls in the D.C. area. What is different, however, is law enforcement using increased efforts, which includes social media, to get the word out about missing children.

Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser has apparently heard the outcry and late last month she established a task force that will provide more resources to children who go missing. She said there will be more police officers assigned to find missing children and the task force will look into what social services teenagers who run away need to stabilize their home lives.

Kevin Harris, spokesman for the mayor, said of this new initiative, “Often times, these girls are repeat runaways. So if we really want to help solve this problem and bring down the numbers, we have to break the cycle of young people, especially young girls, who repeatedly run away from home.”

According to acting police chief Peter Newsham, his department has began tweeting out the name and photo of every missing person in the city who is considered “critical,” which means anyone 15 and under, a repeat runaway and over the age of 65.

Also in Bowser’s plan is to update the city website so it can include more information about the missing child.