D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser announced on Friday that the city will dedicate more resources including a task force to help find missing youth in the District. According to The Washington Post, Bowser will increase the number of police officers assigned to find missing children and establish a task force to determine what social services teenagers who run away need to stabilize their home lives. In addition, the city plans to allocate more funds to nonprofit organizations that work with vulnerable teenagers.
The mayor stressed that not all of the responsibility to care for teens should fall on the district’s police department. And despite the media headlines that suggest that these girls have been abducted, she believes that most of these teens were runways. Kevin Harris, a spokesman for the mayor, said, “Often times, these girls are repeat runaways. So if we really want to help solve this problem and bring down the numbers, we have to break the cycle of young people, especially young girls, who repeatedly run away from home.”
This task force was announced during the same week that Congressional Black Congress members sent a letter to the Department of Justice and the FBI asking them to use their resources to help the district search for their lost youth.