Details of Kansas' new missing persons law announced

WYANDOTTE COUNTY, Kan. - Kansas' missing persons law went into effect Monday, authored by State Senator Greg Smith.

The bill removes any previous 24-hour waiting periods and requires law-enforcement offers to immediately take a report on any missing adult or child. Details of the new law were revealed Monday at a news conference at the Wyandotte County Sheriff's Office in Kansas City, Kan.

Under the new law, once the missing persons report is made, it would immediately be entered into the National Crime Information Center's data bank.  A police report will be made immediately for any missing adult or child, alerting local police officers immediately to be on the lookout for the missing person.

The law would require a review of ongoing missing persons cases after 30 days to see if something more could be done to try to find that person.

This new legislation is especially emotional for Senator Smith. In 2007, his 18-year-old daughter Kelsey was abducted from an Overland Park department store. Her body was found six days later.

"This is one of the things that I wanted to accomplish when I took office," Senator Smith said, "This gives officers taking the reports added discretion to ask for extra manpower immediately if that officer determines there is a need."

The missing persons law also incorporates the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Once police have notified the center, a case worker is assigned to the missing person's family. When necessary, the center will provide free posters with the missing person's picture.  The caseworker can also counsel and assist the waiting family. 

In the United States there are approximately 2,300 missing people each day. Only 200 are missing adults.

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