Missing Persons: Building Support for Legislation

Missing Persons Legislation: Models, Processes and Success Stories
Duration: 60 Minutes
Module 1Resources
Recorded August 1, 2017
Unit 1Missing Persons Legislation: Models, Processes and Success Stories Slide Deck
Unit 2Missing Persons Legislation: Recording
Unit 3Webinar Notes: Missing Person Legislation

Missing Persons and Unidentified Persons Cases


Missing Persons and Unidentified Persons Cases are rampant, with backlog cases going as far back at the 1920s that are still yet to be resolved. The need for legislation in this issue is raised by NamUs Director Todd Matthews as he walks us through the roadblocks encountered, overcoming the obstacles, the drafting and passing of the Tennessee House Bill 44 / Senate Bill 113 that supports justice and law enforcement agencies in dealing with such cases, and also hopes to appease the families and those affected by such cases.

Some of the specific topics Todd discussed on this webinar include:

  • The History of the Tennessee HB 44 / SB 133, from the introduction to the passing of the bill, and the advocates who advanced and sponsored this critical issue.
  • An overview of the content of the Tennessee HB 44 / SB 133.
  • “Billy’s Law” that Connecticut Congressman Chris Murphy proposed to appropriate funding for Missing and Unidentified Persons Cases and NamUs.
  • The current state of the database management and the problems dealing with fragmented data, cases, and reports.
  • Poll questions for the webinar attendees used to gauge the current state and conditions on case management system and database management in their respective agencies.
  • Issues encountered that hinders the successful awareness drive for NamUs.
  • The need for support from local agencies, legislators, and the general population to express the need for such system.
  • Raising awareness for NamUs and the role the legislation is doing so, to maximizing its functions and continue growth.
  • Their plans to roll out an upgraded version of NamUs, where additional functions are integrated so the system may be utilized in critical incidents and emergencies, like terror attacks and natural disasters.
  • Launching NamUs 2.0 with critical incident case management is expected to also boost awareness and familiarity with the system, as local agencies blame their unfamiliarity and underutilization of the system to lack of cases where NamUs can be used.
  • The capabilities and functions of NamUs that will be useful for the various agencies from the local county level up to the national scale.
  • Strategies to mobilize your local agencies and legislators to replicate the Tennessee model to maximize the use of NamUs for missing and unidentified persons cases through:
    • Awareness and education drives
    • Approaching legislators and expressing the need for such system and process in place.
    • Reaching out and involving other agencies and members of the population who will likely benefit by putting NamUs in place.
    • Coordinating with NamUs to get additional help if needed.
Additional Resources
3 years ago
Federal Legislation Impacting Children Missing from Care and NCMEC Resources
Resources from the Presentation: Law Enforcement Investigative Checklist NCMEC FAON Flyer […]
4 years ago
Using NamUs for Critical Incident Responses: an Interview with Todd Matthews
Most of us may immediately think about the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) […]
4 years ago
Learning to Pass Missing Persons Legislation: An Interview with Todd Matthews
On May 2, 2017, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signed into law "Help Find the Missing Act" - Missing […]