COPS Logo Return to previous page. Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
U.S. Department of Justice

 For Immediate Release
April 14, 2006

CONTACT: Corey Ray
(202) 616-1728


Why they run? When they run? How they go? Where they go? 
Will they return?

Washington, DC - The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) has released an innovative resource for local law enforcement to analyze their local juvenile runaway problem.

There were approximately 1.7 million juvenile runaway episodes in 1999. This is an overwhelming problem for local law enforcement who may encounter runaways through a number of activities: while patrolling areas where runaways congregate, while investigating missing persons reports, or during criminal investigations in which juveniles were either perpetrators or victims. The problem of juvenile runaways is unlike other problems confronting police because the behavior indicates complex family troubles or other societal issues.

This newly released publication by the COPS Office provides an invaluable resource for law enforcement to analyze the problem of juvenile runaways at the local level. It is rich with information on the factors that may contribute to juvenile runaways: triggers, seasonal and temporal issues, methods of departure, destinations, duration, and consequences. Most importantly, the guide lists specific questions to help law enforcement understand their local problem and ultimately develop appropriate responses.

Juvenile Runaways, part of the COPS Office Problem Specific Guides for Police, is available on the COPS website at or by calling 800.421.6770. All publications are available free of charge.



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