Information to those filing a Runaway Report

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In accordance with the mission of the Appleton Police Department, our officers thoroughly investigate juvenile runaway complaints. By doing so we hope to locate and return the runaway child home safely as soon as possible and take steps to prevent this situation from reoccurring. 

You are the best resource of information for the officer investigating the case. We would like to work cooperatively with you in this investigation and we will be asking for your assistance. We ask that you contact any relatives, friends or acquaintances of your child who may have information that could be useful in locating your child. We also ask that you provide the investigating officer with a recent photograph of your child to assist in identification. By assisting in this way, the police department can work much more efficiently. 

When your child is located or comes home after running away for the first or second time, within a 12 month period, the Appleton Police Department requires that you bring him/her to the police department to be interviewed by an officer and photographed. The purpose for this interview is to determine why the child ran away, where he/she went, who they were with, and what type of activity they participated in while they were gone. With this type of information we can identify and hold accountable the people who harbor these children after they have left home and address any problems related to why the child ran away. 

Because we take runaway complaints seriously and want to take every step possible to prevent further occurrences, we will be providing information of first and second time offenders to Boys and Girls Club Fox Valley, Runaway Assistance Program. This agency will be contacting you shortly after the return of your child to offer services to the child and family. This does not preclude you from seeking counseling services elsewhere or initiating the contact with Boys and Girls Club Fox Valley, Runaway Assistance Program, by calling 731-0555. 

If your child has been reported to the police as a runaway three or more times within the last 12 months and already has a photo on file, you can phone the Appleton Police Department to cancel his/her runaway status when they return. In this situation you will not need to bring your child to the Appleton Police Department and should contact your county’s Human Services/Social Services Department for instruction on how to obtain assistance. (Outagamie County 832-5961, Calumet County 849-1400 or 989-2700, Winnebago County 729-4797). If your child has been assigned a county social worker, regardless of the number of prior runaway incidents, and already has a photo on file, you should notify the social worker of this incident as soon as possible. You will not need to bring your child to the Appleton Police Department, and can phone the Appleton Police Department to cancel his/her runaway status when they return.