With a recently reported runaway, earlier this week we reported on the procedures and protocol Bismarck’s Police Department takes when it comes to runaways.
We have now spoken with the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Department to see what they do as a county and how many runaways are being reported to them.
Sergeant of Investigations, Jeremy Alm, told KX that they do not get as many runaway reports as other cities like Bismarck, which so far this year has seen a total of 95 reported runaways.
He says in 2021 there were 23 reported runaways and this year so far there have been 10 reports.
Alm shares that 16 of those 33 runaways were the same person.
He says seeing repeated runaways from a kid is common when there is an unhappy situation within their home.
Alm tells us their goal as a department is not to punish but to help the runaways in need.
“Right now, if a juvenile does run away and we locate them and return them to their parents, typically we have some discretion on whether we refer them to the juvenile court system as a runaway it kind of depends on how many times we’ve dealt with that individual, whether the parents want them cited through juvenile courts as a runaway or not. Typically, a runaway is not running away because they can or cannot get away with it their running away for other reasons and I do not think the consequences of running away is really probably weighed too much on their mind when they do it,” he says.
Alm says there are multiple community resources such as youth work and social services that can help runaways and encourages teens and families to use them.