Law enforcement shares what happens during a missing persons search

State & Regional

HEWITT, Texas – In the state of Texas, there are nearly 50,000 missing persons cases.

Hewitt Police Chief Jim Devlin shared how local law agencies work to help reunite with their families.

“A runaway is considered a missing person in the state of Texas, the way that we entered them, so you could have several thousands of those cases take place in a year,” Devlin says.

The Hewitt Police Department works closely with larger law enforcement agencies when they are alerted about a missing child in the area.

“We need to know who we can get in contact with, who we can reach out to from the specialized equipment that we would need for a prolonged,” Devlin says.

Devlin says when it comes to a missing person, the first question is – did someone abduct the person, or did they wander off? He says the approach is still going to be the same on how they handle it.

“When we start searching a search area, you know, though the Incident Command System would take over, and basically, we would start with the incident commander and making the plan,” Devlin says.

Local agencies – such as police officers, the Texas Department of Safety, and search and rescue – start an operation plan.

“We start by getting the helicopter from DPS, utilizing the flier system during the nighttime that picks up heat signatures, [and get a] K-9 team,” Devlin says.

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