The Fargo Police Department does not consider any report of a missing person to be routine and assumes that the missing person is in need of immediate assistance until an investigation reveals otherwise. Priority shall be given to missing person cases over property-related cases. Members will initiate an investigation into all reports of missing persons, regardless of the length of time the person has been missing. A high-risk missing person is a person who is:
- 13 years of age or younger.
- Regardless of age, is believed or determined to be experiencing one or more of the following circumstances:
- Out of the zone of safety for his/her chronological age and developmental stage.
- Mentally or behaviorally disabled.
- Drug dependent, including prescribed medication and/or illegal substances, and the dependency is potentially life-threatening.
- Absent from home for more than 24 hours before being reported to law enforcement as missing.
- In a life-threatening situation.
- In the company of others who could endanger his/her welfare.
- Absent in a way that is inconsistent with established patterns of behavior and that cannot be readily explained. Most children have an established and reasonably predictable routine.
- Involved in a situation that would cause a reasonable person to conclude the person should be considered at risk.
- An individual who may be at risk of injury or death and (N.D.C.C. § 12-68-03):
- May be the subject of foul play.
- May be unable to properly safeguard or care for him/herself due to age (young or old).
- Suffers from diminished conditions that are potentially untreated/unattended including:
- Being a patient of a mental institution and is considered potentially dangerous to the patient or to others.
- A demonstrated potential for suicide.
- Possible involvement in a boating, swimming, other sporting accident or a natural disaster.
The AMBER Alert™ program coordinates the efforts of law enforcement, the media and the public in an effort to safely recover abducted children. In the event of a suspected child abduction, an AMBER Alert™ will be generated. An AMBER Alert™ is warranted when all of the following apply:
- The abduction involves a child 17 years of age or younger.
- There is confirmation of a stranger or a family abduction in which the child is believed to be in grave danger of serious bodily harm or death, and not considered a runaway.
- There is descriptive information about the child, the abductor and/or the suspect's vehicle to assist with the safe recovery of the victim and/or the apprehension of the suspect.
- There is enough information about the child, the suspect and/or suspect's vehicle to believe an immediate broadcast alert will help.