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La Crosse PD debunks myth that you need to wait 24 hours to report a missing persons

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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - If someone is missing it should be reported immediately, not 24 hours later.

La Crosse Police Department Detective Lt. Linnea Miller said it's a common mistake that there's a timeline to when some should be reported missing.

"Don't wait to call us," Lt. Miller said. "Unfortunately there seems to be a misconception or a myth out there that you have to wait 24 hours, 48 hours or many days before you can call the police. There is no time limit. So please give us a call because we will help you. We will walk you through maybe we have some other suggestions. Where's their favorite place that they like to go to? Have you checked that? Did you call the phone? Where are their personal items? Just different things to be thinking of that we will assist them with."

The Wisconsin Department of Justice works with the La Crosse Police Department to help locate people in danger. They post silver alerts for individuals over the age of 60 and amber alerts for children.

"In a child abduction case it truly is a race against the clock and time is not on our side," Wisconsin D.O.J. Amber Alert Coordinator Melissa Marchant said. "As much information as law enforcement has in front of them to help that family determine if they're missing is the most beneficial."

Lt. Miller said social media is a big help.

"You can send out pictures. I would definitely recommend that the family and friends of the missing be doing that instead of us because they have the most knowledge about that person and they can send it out to their groups that know that person. So that's very helpful," she said. "The more people that know the more help you're going to get."

People should call 9-1-1 in an emergency or 608-782-7575 for non-emergencies.

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Marcus Aarsvold

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