Plan in place to make finding missing persons easier

Plan in place to make finding missing persons easier

WEST TEXAS (KWES) - Changes are coming in how law enforcement call for an Amber or Silver Alert, that's after local officials said they've sent nearly 600 requests this year to activate an Amber Alert but less than 200 have been approved.

Corporal Steve LeSueur of the Odessa Police Department and Region 8 Coordinator, said "What's happening is the vast majority of these requests that are being sent in by law enforcement are being rejected."

It's the miscommunication between coordinators like LeSueur and the Texas Department of Public Safety about when an Amber or Silver Alert should be activated.

An application is filled out by law enforcement and sent to D.P.S in Austin. During the investigation, there is no gray area and everything must have the proper information. LeSueur said sometimes getting an answer could take a while.

"It's just too long, obviously in two hours somebody could make it across the New Mexico border. It makes it much more difficult to investigate and to recover that person," said LeSueur.

The solution coordinators like LeSueur came up with was a region plan which would allow more alerts to get out quickly without the hassle. Meaning, the Permian Basin and surrounding West Texas cities would fall under Region 8. LeSueuer and others think this method is more effective.

"You would actually receive less alerts and instead of receiving all the state alerts you would only see the alerts that would apply to our region," said LeSueur.

LeSueur added Odessa Police Department would be the base for Region 8 and the department has gotten numerous calls on missing persons and bringing them home is the top priority.

"If we can recover one, or two, or three, or ten, or a dozen, we've done our job," said LeSueur.

When it comes to reporting someone missing especially the elderly...LeSueur says it's best to have medical records handy for police. Coordinators believed the plan could be put into effect very soon.

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