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  1. #1
    Ken45140 is offline Junior Member Ken45140 is on a distinguished road
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    BOLO process and use

    I introduced myself in the new member section. Here I want to ask for some information on the BOLO process and whether or not civilians can or should contribute to its objectives.

    Situation: 68 woman (Mother of my daughter's husband) has gone missing in Fairfield, OH., has been missing now since Sunday (it is currently Wed, 1:30). She is a lady in general good condition (except for remains of a pneumonia infection--see below), with no evidence of forgetfulness or dementia. She is ambulatory and was last seen driving her 2000 Jeep SUV. I am unable to post an informative news story so Google search terms that yield numbers of news articles are "douglas, missing, woman, fairfield" (without quotes)

    Police suspect foul play, but a contributing condition would be the lady's just getting over pneumonia, which we read, can contribute or cause disorientation and hallucinations much like caused by urinary tract infections in older women. As such, a hypothesis that she just began "driving aimlessly", under the influence of mental confusion, is reasonable.

    Thus my question about the BOLO process. Fairfield Police advise they have issued said BOLO but did not say how it works, or how far it was sent, or to whom it was sent. Do Police network into a National or Regional BOLO network? Do they have automatic distribution to cities and departments or do they have to manually select the departments which receive the BOLO information? If BOLOs are sent to major municipalities, do small towns and villages also tie into the network and receive the same information?

    Finally, we and the family are considering organizing an effort to contact Police departments within a 300 mile radius of Fairfield OH (suburb of Cincinnati), but do not know if this is possible, or whether the contacted departments can and would deal with the information we would share.

    Can an officer advise me/us as to the answers to these questions, as well as whether this is a feasible idea to try.

    Web site has been established, news station interviews have been given, flyers are being printed for distribution. But we want to know how to involve Police Departments in other states.

    Thanks for any guidance and answers you can provide.

    Ken

  2. #2
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    I would ask to speak with a supervisor or the Public Information Officer of the lead agency and to get your answers. It is likely, under accepted protocol and best practices, that bulletins went out statewide in their computer system. The added media attention always is a greater help because it gets more eyes looking for you.

    Good luck and I hope she is quickly found in good health and spirits.
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  3. #3
    Ken45140 is offline Junior Member Ken45140 is on a distinguished road
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    Thanks for the comment. I was hoping for more here as the local department is dealing the details with the direct family. Key phrase in your reply: "...likely, under accepted protocol and best practices, that bulletins went out statewide". Cincinnati is at the southwest corner and abuts Ky and Indiana, so a BOLO to ONLY Ohio departments leaves out 2/3 of the potential geography to which she might have traveled.

    I would appreciate more comments to this thread, but simultaneously will follow up with the locals as you stated.

    Ken

  4. #4
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    How the BOLO appears and to which agancies it goes is entirely dependant on how it was entered into the system. There are contingencies to include a regional area, but only the issuing agency would know if those contingencies were used in this case.
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  5. #5
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    It all depends on how far they wanted the BOLO to go. It could be anything from city wide to nation wide.
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  6. #6
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    You are lucky because in NYC she is not even considered missing under the circumstances you explained.

    Have you contacted the bank and credit card companies for last activity? She have a cell phone? If so, call the provider and explain, they may be able to geo-locate an area where it is within 5 miles.
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  7. #7
    Ken45140 is offline Junior Member Ken45140 is on a distinguished road
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    Many thanks for the replies.
    Steps taken: contacting PIF at Police Dept to get more info on their BOLO distribution.
    Cell phone is off; single debit card has not been used, 3/4 full gas tank would yield a 250 to 300 mile driving radius.
    Main hypothesis outside of foul play is disorientation from residual pneumonia infection, causing her to drive aimlessly (or partly aimlessly - guided by irrational memories)
    Steps Planned: considering Faxing one page description and circumstances document (with photo) to Police departments of cities and small towns along possible driving routes out of Cincinnati area, using two possible destinations from her past.

    Question: do Police departments accept and USE well crafted and concise documents faxed in by civilians, or do they only use official BOLO network originated information?? Guidance from you on this could save both sides lots of time, or could assist greatly in discovering vehicle and hence missing grandma.

    Many thanks for continued advice.
    Ken

  8. #8
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    Your mileage may vary, depending on how small and community-oriented a department is, but generally - no - an unsolicited fax from a citizen would not be used, and would be discarded.

    If every fax of that type were taken seriously, it would just open the door for anyone with their own hot-button issue to flood an unsuspecting agency with just about anything, and no way to tell whether it were true or not. Plus, even though you state 'well crafted and concise documents', it is doubtful that most would be that considerate.

    The BOLO process was created precisely to avoid the type of action you are proposing.
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  9. #9
    Ken45140 is offline Junior Member Ken45140 is on a distinguished road
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    Thanks for candid reply. We will turn to other options and hope and encourage the local officials to expand their BOLO publications to potential destinations that our missing relative may have traveled to.

    Getting authentic advice back from here has been very helpful. Hats off to those who take the time to respond.

    Ken

  10. #10
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    Who owns the car? If it is not her, report it missing. A car missing is enetred into a national datbase and if a cop runs the plate for any reason, they will know.
    -In God we trust. All others, put your hands on the car and don't move.

  11. #11
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    All agencies are different.

    Unlike what Joey described in NY, we do not recognize any "time" limits (must be gone 24 or 72 hours) before we will enter a person missing, especially in the circumstances you described which would fall under the "endangered" clause. A new law (I beleive it's nicknamed "Billy's Law") is in legislation as we speak regarding mandated quicker response to missing person cases.

    On that note, we may put out a local "Check Welfare" on an adult with no suspicious circumstances on their disappearing, but the age and medical conditions you have described fall easily into the requirements for NCIC entry. We have seen many "Alzheimer" cases in our area, similar to what you have described, and it immediately involves all law enforcement, media and resources such as air craft. Sometimes they are at a friend's house, sometimes they are found out in the middle of the desert and sadly; sometimes we don't find them in time.

    If they entered her NCIC, I am sure they also entered the vehicle plate and description, but make sure to ask, in a respectful manner, of the lead agency.

    I am wishing the best to you, the family, the police and volunteers and hope she is located quickly out of harm's way.
    Last edited by Cat_Doc; 04-01-10 at 03:48 PM. Reason: Adding NCIC regarding vehicle plate
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeyd6 View Post
    You are lucky because in NYC she is not even considered missing under the circumstances you explained.
    While our policy is not listed on the web, it follows very closely the below excerpt by Phoenix P.D.

    "The Phoenix Police Department has no time limit regarding how long a child or person has to be missing prior to a report being filed. The department asks people to be reasonable and consider traffic delays, car problems or other unforeseen circumstances that may contribute to adults being overdue before making a report. Persons suspecting foul play or a health issue concern are encouraged to contact the Police department as soon as possible."



    Phoenix Police Department - Missing Children
    "No one is compelled to choose the profession of a police officer, but having chosen it, everyone is obligated to perform its duties and live up to the high standards of its requirements." ~ President Calvin Coolidge

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  13. #13
    Ken45140 is offline Junior Member Ken45140 is on a distinguished road
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    First, thanks again for the continued interest in this topic and our plight.

    To further stimulate discussion and just share new learnings, I participated in a meeting with the lead detective at the Police department today and asked about his opinion on civilian initiated "flyers" sent directly to PD faxes in other cities in which or through which the missing grandma might have passed. Contrary to saying that the departments were likely to trash such a fax, he suggested that "many" of them, not all, would look at them, probably would announce the info at roll call, and might aid in discovery at least for a time. He emphasized that PDs work load, size, degree of community service all would influence how productive this step might be. He also shared that they are empowered to issue official BOLOs in the state but submit less formal "flyers" themselves to departments in adjacent states. He encouraged us to take the step.

    This is not to discount the advice offered further up, and in fact, such an effort might not yield anything, but we, as other families caught in similar circumstances, want and need to do what we can and faxing info will fit that. As I mentioned above, the detectives are confirming with medical personnel that disorientation from residual pneumonia infection is possible, and with that it is possible to imagine her driving a somewhat erratic route to destinations in which she has memories, however jumbled. Thus our fax campaign would follow supposed routes to those destinations.

    Anyone of you reading who have been in a similar situation, and might have distributed your own BOLOs or less official flyers, what "logic" or judgments guided your selection of who to send the notices to?

    Thanks again. Your messages have been of great encouragement to the family.

    Ken

  14. #14
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    Ken,

    Keep in mind when you make them, faxing sounds good, but they provide crap info. Who is to say anyone is even checking the fax machine or that it has paper, or it is plugged in. Head over to Staples, Office Max or Kinkos with a good print-off from your computer and ask for color copies. Usually they will help you out with price. Then take them there or mail them. As a cop on the street, they want:
    1) More pictures are always better!!!!
    2) Close-up pictures are great!!!!!!
    3) A color pic is even better!

    Also list what you relative likes or favors such as certain types of retaurantc (fast food, diners, mexican, italian, etc....). If there is a favorie state that. Same with any stores she tends to frequent.

    If you can find a pic of the on the net of teh same year/make/model, add one (does not have to be actual photos of her car), add them so they know what they are looking for.

    Make sure there are two or three contact numbers for you/family.

    I would send them to the Public Information Officer, Community Policing, Patrol Supervisor, etc... I would mark teh enevelopes "URGENT" or "Miising Person Information."
    -In God we trust. All others, put your hands on the car and don't move.

  15. #15
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    You may want to contact your local news agency to see if they are willing to run a story. Even though it will not likely provide the location of where she is, someone might remember seeing her in a certain area or the vehicle driving eratically in a certain direction providing you and the investigators a better area to concentrate on.

    Good luck and God Bless.
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