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When a young person in the District goes missing or escapes from a group home, it's up to the Metropolitan Police Department's Youth Investigations Division to try and find them. But an investigation by the city's top watchdog says the division has been doing an "inadequate" job of handling those cases.
According to a report [PDF] from the office of D.C. Inspector General Charles J. Willoughby, when investigators with the IG's office pulled up a random sample of "open" missing persons cases, they found that for half of them, there was no evidence detectives with the youth investigations division had taken action to try and locate the missing person.
The report notes that one manager interviewed expressed concerns about how detectives spent their time, and says the lack of investigative action may have been common place in the division.
The report also found some missing cases that did not indicate whether the juvenile had been found or not. And for cases that were marked "closed" or solved, the report says the detectives rarely interviewed the juveniles to confirm they had returned or find out why they had left.
The police department is working to address some of problems, according to the report.Executive Summary from Inspector General's report on MPD Youth Investigation Services Division