Rapid City missing child alerts, RCPD explains why some go up and some don’t

You may have noticed the Rapid City Police Department put a couple of missing children alerts out on their social media over the past few days.
Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 5:09 PM MDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - You may have noticed the Rapid City Police Department put a couple of missing children alerts out on their social media over the past few days.

Lieutenant Christian Sigel, Rapid City Police Department, explains they seek public help, because they “provide that information and somebody’s going to raise their hand and say, ‘hey I think this is where this missing kid is.”

Sigel says each post is about getting each one of these kids home and safe, and “not out there in the wild world.” Once their found, police work to get them in touch with resources in an effort to ensure it doesn’t happen again, “because sometimes the home may be broken.” Oftentimes, stemming from alcohol or drug abuse in the household, “and so we’re digging into the root cause as well and trying to find out how we can stop this cycle.”

A cycle that sometimes continues, where repeat faces are seen on posts several weeks apart. Some people go as far to comment they’re just looking for attention.

“Absolutely,” Sigel asserts. “They may just be looking for attention, because they’re not getting attention somewhere else. They may be looking for attention, because they’re crying for help.”

Sigel says not every missing child is put on social media, only when conditions are particularly threatening, like “dire straights is when we’re really worried about the child. Factors include age, maybe some suicidal tendencies. Maybe the weather coming in.”

He says that’s not to say every child isn’t high priority, “but those who are extreme priority are the ones we’re putting on FaceBook.”

The department fears that if they put every child up, it would begin to act like white noise and people wouldn’t continue to take it seriously. Something that’s necessary, because, “the world is a scary place.”

Especially for a young kid. Which is why every time there’s a missing child Sigel feels like the “clock is ticking. We want them home.”

Once they’re home, things don’t end there.

“It’s much more than just find the child and say,” explains Sigel, “‘parents, here you go. Here’s your child.”

Rather, he says it’s a two pronged approach.

Reactive, find the child.

Proactive, make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“Get into the home and work with the families. Work with the children. Offer services,” says Sigel, “even offer some mentorship, and making it so it doesn’t happen again. Making it so they have long good lives.”

Copyright 2022 KEVN. All rights reserved.