IACP and VIPS Partner with NamUs on Missing Persons Pilot Project

By Jennifer Styles, guest blogger, Project Specialist, Volunteers in Police Service

IACP’s Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) Program recently began a new partnership with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), a program of the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNT).  NamUs is a national centralized repository and resource center for missing persons and unidentified decedent records that can be searched by medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officials, and the general public. Through this new partnership, trained and vetted volunteers with proper departmental approval and supervision will be able to input data and run searches on NamUs for their law enforcement agency.

On August 1 and 2, 2012, VIPS and UNT held a pilot training to educate sworn law enforcement officers and VIPS volunteers on using NamUs and other resources to help support missing person and unidentified decedent cases. The Avondale Police Department hosted this training which included more than 70 officers and 60 volunteers from 15 agencies in Arizona. Additional trainings are being planned for the fall.

This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Institute of Justice and Bureau of Justice Assistance.

If you would like more information about future VIPS/NamUs training, please contact Rosemary DeMenno at demenno@theiacp.org.

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