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These online training courses were created by RTI International and the University of North Texas Center for Human Identification's Forensic Services Unit, with funding from the National Institute of Justice (grant number 2007-DN-CX-K234 and 2009-DN-BX-K184).


Free Online Training Course

Developing a Missing Persons Protocol

View the course syllabus

This course was designed to provide law enforcement agencies with information to develop protocols that will ensure consistent and effective investigation of missing persons cases. The material in this course is applicable to all law enforcement agencies, regardless of size. Topics include free resources to aide missing and unidentified person investigations; how to effectively use missing/unidentified resources; working with families of missing persons; responding to unique situations, such as high-risk missing adults or missing juveniles; and understanding the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS).

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the reasons for developing a missing persons protocol
  • Categorize cases to address unique missing person issues
  • Effectively use NCIC and NamUs for investigations
  • Understand how DNA and CODIS are used to locate missing persons
  • Ensure adequate DNA reference samples are collected for every missing person case
  • Effectively work with families of missing persons