Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 52. Police (State)
Subtitle .
Chapter 7. Missing Children Information Clearinghouse
12/5/2022

Chapter 7. Missing Children Information Clearinghouse.

§ 52-31. Missing Children Information Clearinghouse established.

The Superintendent shall establish, organize, equip, staff and maintain within the Department of State Police a Missing Children Information Clearinghouse as a central repository of information regarding missing children. Such information shall be collected, processed, maintained and disseminated by the Clearinghouse as accurately and completely as possible to assist in the location of missing children.

1985, c. 259.

§ 52-31.1. Superintendent to establish network.

The Superintendent of State Police shall establish a network to implement reports of the disappearance of children by local law-enforcement agencies to local school division superintendents and the State Registrar of Vital Records. The network shall be designed to establish cooperative arrangements between local law-enforcement agencies and local school divisions concerning reports of missing children, whereby law enforcement shall within 24 hours or the next business day, notify the principal of the school where the missing child is or was most recently enrolled and inform the school official of the report, and notices to law-enforcement agencies of requests for copies of the cumulative records and birth certificates of missing children. Upon notification of a request for a marked school record or other information regarding a missing child, the Superintendent shall immediately initiate an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the request, including a search for any record that may exist showing who has legal custody of the child and for any record that may disclose an allegation of child abuse perpetrated against a member of the child's family. The network shall also establish a mechanism for reporting the identities of all missing children to the State Registrar of Vital Records.

1990, c. 295; 2006, c. 295.

§ 52-32. Definitions.

As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise or it is otherwise specifically provided:

"Missing child" means any person who is under the age of 21 years, whose temporary or permanent residence is in Virginia, or is believed to be in Virginia, whose whereabouts are unknown to any parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis of the child, and who has been reported as missing to a law-enforcement agency within the Commonwealth.

"Missing child report" means a report prepared in a format prescribed by the Superintendent for use by law-enforcement agencies to report missing child information to the Missing Children Information Clearinghouse.

1985, c. 259; 1986, c. 330; 2004, c. 248.

§ 52-33. Powers and duties of Clearinghouse.

The Clearinghouse shall have the following powers and duties:

1. To maintain a centralized file for the exchange of information on missing children within the Commonwealth. The Clearinghouse shall accept a missing child report from any law-enforcement officer as defined in § 9.1-101. Any parent, guardian, legal custodian or other person standing in loco parentis of a missing child may contact the Clearinghouse to verify the entry of a missing child report on such child. If the Clearinghouse is requested to verify a missing child report which has not been received, the Clearinghouse shall immediately contact the appropriate law-enforcement agency and take such measures as may be necessary to determine whether a report should be entered in the centralized file.

2. To maintain a system of intrastate communication to receive information relating to the disappearance or sighting of missing children. Such system shall be available twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week.

3. To maintain close liaison with the National Crime Information Center and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for the exchange of information on children suspected of interstate or international travel and for assistance in the operation of the Clearinghouse.

4. To circulate a monthly bulletin on missing children to the news media, all law-enforcement agencies, and every school in the Commonwealth.

5. To provide emergency flyers containing physical and situational descriptions of missing children when requested by law-enforcement agencies.

6. To provide for training of public and private organizations regarding the operation of the Clearinghouse.

7. To provide assistance to law-enforcement agencies in planning and implementing programs to fingerprint children.

1985, c. 259; 2011, cc. 818, 852.

§ 52-34. Notification required when missing child located.

Any law-enforcement officer who has reported a missing child to the Clearinghouse shall notify the Clearinghouse immediately upon determining the location of the child.

1985, c. 259.