DPS Launches New Missing Persons Website, Asks for Public Help
February 8, 2022
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 – offers an interactive design and advanced features to make it easier to identify and locate people.
Established in 1985 within the Criminal Investigations Division (DCI), the Missing Persons Clearinghouse compiles, coordinates and disseminates information relating to missing persons and unidentified bodies/persons. Since 2005, the Clearinghouse has been sharing missing persons information through a public website that combines an individual’s identifying data provided by law enforcement agencies statewide with a photo provided by families.
The development of the new website improves the display of currently missing persons and provides more robust search capabilities to improve the user experience. Enhanced features include an advanced search function that allows users to select identifiable bodily details, date of birth, type of incident, and originating law enforcement agency, among others. Users can also create a downloadable poster of a missing person and access a children’s fingerprint identification kit.
According to DCI’s Missing Persons Clearinghouse Coordinator, Medina Rahmanovic, the mission of the new website is twofold. The main purpose is to share information about missing persons. However, the site also serves as an educational center housing resources to support the prevention of child and adult runaways and abductions as well as general information on missing persons issues.
“We have been working for many years towards our goal of awareness, prevention and cooperation, and updating the Missing Persons Clearinghouse website to make it more user-friendly,” said Rahmanovic, who added that a key priority for the DCI is to reduce the number of profiles without photos. More than 75% of the approximately 300 missing persons have no photos to display. “We need the public’s help and we encourage loved ones to share a photo with us at [email protected]”
Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens said, “Searching for missing persons is hard work and often requires the collaboration of an extensive network of people. We are excited to give the public and our law enforcement partners more advanced tools to help locate and return missing Iowans to safety.
ABOUT THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the state’s largest law enforcement agency. It includes six divisions and multiple offices, all working in conjunction with local, state, and federal government agencies and the private sector, to make Iowa a safe place by following our core values: Leadership, Integrity, Professionalism, Courtesy, Service and protection. Divisions within the Iowa DPS: Iowa Criminal Investigation Division, Iowa Counternarcotics Division, Iowa State Patrol, State Fire Marshal’s Division of Iowa, Iowa Intelligence and Fusion Center Division and Administrative Services Division. The Department of Public Security is headed by the Commissioner who is appointed by the Governor.