DES MOINES, Iowa – More than 300 Iowans are currently missing. The Iowa Department of Public Safety’s relaunch of the Missing Person Information Clearinghouse website – iowamissingpersons.com – provides an interactive design and advanced functions to make it easier to help identify and locate people.
Established in 1985 within the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the Missing Person Information Clearinghouse compiles, coordinates and disseminates information in relation to missing persons and unidentified body/persons. Since 2005, the Clearinghouse has been sharing missing person information through a public-facing website that combines an individual’s identification data supplied from law enforcement agencies across the state with a photo provided by families.
Development of the new website enhances the display of persons currently missing, and provides more robust search capabilities to improve the user experience. Upgraded features include an advanced search function that allows users to select identifiable body details, date of birth, type of incident and originating law enforcement agency, among others. Users can also create a downloadable poster featuring a missing person and access a child fingerprint ID kit.
According to DCI Missing Person Information Clearinghouse Coordinator, Medina Rahmanovic, the mission of the new website is two-fold. The primary purpose is sharing missing person information. However, the site also serves as an educational hub housing resources to support the prevention of children and adult runaways, and abductions as well as general information about missing person issues.
“We have been working for many years toward our goal of generating awareness, prevention and cooperation, and updating the Missing Person Information Clearinghouse website to make it more user-friendly,” said Rahmanovic, who added that a key priority for the DCI is reducing the number of profiles without photos. More than 75 percent of the approximately 300 missing persons do not have photos available to display. “We need the public’s assistance, and we encourage loved ones to share a photo with us at email@example.com.”
Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens said, “Locating missing persons is difficult work, and often takes collaboration from a wide network of people. We’re very pleased to give the public and our law enforcement partners more advanced tools to help locate and bring missing Iowans safely home.”