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Pittsfield Police: No Cause For Alarm About Missing Teen Reports

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — In the past few day, the Police Department has posted on Facebook numerous requests for information regarding local missing teenagers. In the last 10 days, there have been eight juveniles reported as missing or runaway.
 
That, of course, triggered alarm among many fearing there was some type of outbreak of abductions or a trend. But, on Thursday, the Police Department said that isn't true. 
 
The department had used Facebook to gather leads on several missing teens. Seeing success, it kept using Facebook to get the word out in hopes to find the other missing juveniles.
 
"The decision to make the recent posts was made by the investigating detectives in an effort to generate leads and based on recent success. For example, one of the missing teens was located with 24 hours of our Facebook post," wrote Capt. Jeffrey Bradford.
 
"The social media post reached 46,157 people and was shared 1,228 times. While the circumstances of these cases cannot be released, the information gathered by our department does not point to a specific public safety risk. Although we are always concerned when a juvenile's whereabouts is not known by their parent or legal guardian, and our detectives treat these cases seriously, the recent number of reports is not unusual or out of the ordinary for our community."
 
Of the eight reported missing, which police say is a normal number of reports, six have already been found and two reported on Wednesday remain missing. The department has since deleted posts regarding the missing teens who were found.
 
"The purpose of this press release is to inform the media and public that our department has not received any information that these teens have been victimized or that the individual reports are connected," Bradford wrote.
 
The department also clarified its terminology when saying a juvenile is "missing" or is a "runaway." Missing is a term used to describe individuals who have not been in contact with family or friends for an unusual amount of time and runaway is a juvenile who said he or she had no intent to return to parents or legal guardians. 
 
"In many cases, it is not clear which category best describes a specific juveniles situation. As a result of this the words 'missing'  and 'runaway' are commonly used together," Bradford wrote.
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