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Every year hundreds of thousands of people go missing. In High-Risk cases, it is the responsibility of the Police Search Advisor (PolSA) to plan and manage these time critical searches. To carry out their task they need to write their Search Strategy, produce tasking sheets, and circulate photographs of the missing person to teams, utilising maps, aerial photography, geo-spatial tools and databases of past behaviours and previous experience. Many PolSAs still use a mix of manual methods and multiple separate systems to carry out this task.
This is inefficient and can waste valuable time.
The PolSA needs to identify the Place Last Seen, define and prioritise search areas and task search teams as well as monitor the progress of the search whilst keeping commanders and the media updated.
The PolSA must make optimal use of the scarce search resources available to them, whether Search and Rescue Teams, specialist search teams such as dogs or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and members of the public who may wish to volunteer.
All the time the PolSA must also document their decision-making rationale for any future enquiry.
PoLSAs are also used to coordinate comprehensive searches in cases where forensic evidence needs to be recovered. This requires them to rapidly divide an area into sectors, control and manage the search and document any results found.
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