by Diane Tuazon
HOBBS, NEW MEXICO- Aside from trying to keep crime off the streets, the Hobbs Police Department has been taking a significant amount of reports on runaway teens.
"In 2009, we had 107 reports or runaways and this year we have 19 already. When our officers are out on patrol they have the information list with them so they know who to look out for," Officer Mike Stone with the Hobbs Police Department, said.
Officer Stone says in reality that number is a lot higher than what's reported since most parents try to handle the situation of a runaway child on their own.
"We deal with a lot of runaways but most parents rather not deal with police and just ask relatives for help," Stone said.
Police officers say it's not that they don't take runaway reports seriously, it's that they don't have enough resources. On average, they have only six officers on duty each day.
"It's not illegal what they're doing. It's just today's society, when kids don't get their way, they go and run off," Stone said.