New approach has helped El Paso County Sheriff’s Office find missing persons, prevent crimes

In chasing runaways with urgency, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office says it has caught quite a few bad guys who harbor and abuse vulnerable teens, making significant strides in crime prevention.

Sheriff Bill Elder made missing persons cases a priority when he took office in January. Every case is on a detective’s desk within 24 hours, if not immediately, and major crimes deputies have solved nearly 100 runaway cases this year. Many times the public and social media have been instrumental.

“We were watching these kids run on social media,” said Sgt. Cliff Porter, who runs the program. “They were tweeting, they were Facebooking, they were Instagramming their location, their contacts, their friends, and we were using none of that.”

The push is a win for families, a success for the Sheriff’s Office and a big step toward preventing such things from ever happening at all.

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