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Cleveland Police on Missing Kids and Summer Safety


Cleveland, Ohio became the subject of nationwide news last week, after a local TV station reported that 27 kids went missing from the city in a two-week period. Police held a press conference yesterday to address the issue of missing children in the city and share some proactive steps they’re taking to keep kids safe this summer.

According to Wayne Drummond, chief of police for the Cleveland Division of Police, 1,072 juveniles – that’s children under the age of 18 – have gone missing in Cleveland in 2023. He also noted that 1,020 have been recovered.

Chief Drummond says the number of missing children in Cleveland is up about 20 percent so far this year and that a large number of these cases are children who have run away and continue to run away multiple times. He stressed that they take every missing child case seriously and follow up on every lead, no matter the circumstance.

Law enforcement officials say that although the numbers are higher than before, there is no information pointing to a specific cause. In the press conference, Larry Henderhan, director of the Northeast Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force, said he has not seen a rise of human trafficking incidents with missing juveniles.

As summer months begin to roll in and kids have more free time on their hands, the city of Cleveland and Chief Drummond are encouraging parents and guardians to consider getting their children involved in various programs offered throughout the city.

Cleveland’s summer program guide lays out all the exciting options for kids to get involved in while they are on break from school, including free summer in-person programming, education programs, sports activities, and summer camps.  

Chief Drummond also highlighted the community's recreation and resource centers, which offer completely free programs such as “Basketball After Dark,” computer classes, and more. The recreation centers also house trauma-informed specialists who can assist children and parents with any challenges they may be having.

Det. Kevin Callahan, the missing persons liaison for the Cleveland Division of Police, spoke to NCMEC and encouraged parents to talk with their kids about safety and keep an eye on what they are doing online. 

Det. Kevin Callahan speaks

As the summer months do kick into full swing, Chief Drummond says he wants the community to be aware of what’s going on around them – especially when it comes to missing kids. 

Chief Wayne A. Drummond speaks

For more information on the programs offered by the city of Cleveland, you can visit their website here:

While Cleveland is just one example, these suggestions don’t only apply to Ohio. Consider looking into safe summer programming for your children in your local town or city. 

If you’re looking for safety resources or information on how to talk to your kids about staying safe, both online and in-person, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children offers a variety of resources for parents and guardians on our website here:

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