Can I get an AMBER alert for my missing child?
- A: It depends if the case meets the criteria created by the California Highway Patrol. If the missing person meets the requirements, the Missing Persons Unit will initiate an AMBER alert on a case-by-case basis.
- It has been confirmed that an abduction has occurred, or the child has been taken by anybody including, but not limited to, parents and/or guardians;
- The victim is 17 years of age or younger, or of proven mental or physical disability;
- There is a reason to believe the victim is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death;
- There is information available that, if disseminated to the general public, could assist in the safe recovery of the victim.
Can I know the address of where the Missing Person was located or currently resides?
- A: No, privacy laws protect adult persons. Juveniles found are exempt, and the reporting party will be contacted when a juvenile is located.
Do I have to wait 24 hours to report a person missing?
- A: No, there is no waiting period to report a person missing.
Should I request officers to conduct a welfare check on a missing person's address before reporting them missing?
- A: Yes, this also gives the officers the chance to conduct a preliminary investigation, and a head start to locate the missing person. The Missing Persons Unit highly recommends a welfare check before reporting a person missing.
Should I call the Missing Person investigator after I file the report, or will the investigator contact me?
- A: Staff from the missing person unit will generally contact the reporting party when they begin working the case to check for any additional leads or information that might have been missed. However, if there is pertinent additional information to the case, the reporting person can directly call and speak with the investigator.
Will the missing person investigator give updates on my case?
- A: This depends. On a case-by-case basis, the investigator may be in contact with the reporting party. However, a missing person case is an open confidential investigation, so real-time updates are not allowed per privacy laws.
Can I post a reward for my missing person?
- A: This depends. This should be decided after discussion with the investigator, so there is no conflict with the investigation. A process needs to be followed by the banks, which can be discussed with the investigator.
Should I contact the media?
- A: No. The investigator will contact the media after the information has been verified.
Should I provide a picture?
- A: Yes, and please make sure it is a current photograph and not edited with social media filters. Please provide as many current pictures as possible.
Can I distribute my own flyers?
- A: Yes, however, do not put your personal contact information and make sure the investigator knows about the flyers. We suggest creating an email dedicated to the missing person to be listed on the flyers for contact. Please discuss contact phone numbers with the missing person investigator.
Further, when posting on social media about the missing person, please coordinate with the investigator for the most effective campaign.
To better serve our community the Oakland Police Department created a video on the process of filing a Missing Person report. If you have any information about a Missing Person or need to report a person missing call 510-238-3641.