A Cook County Sheriff’s Police unit dedicated to finding missing state wards has recovered more than 500 at-risk children, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.
Sheriff Dart launched the Cook County Sheriff’s Child Protection Response Unit in October 2012 to help locate these minor children. In the three years, the unit has recovered 502 children, nearly all of them wards of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
The 502 children included 204 males and 298 females Thirty five of those children were ages 0-5; 22 were ages 6-10, 190 were ages 11-15 and 255 were 16 and older. Warrants for their recovery are issued through juvenile court.
Lengths of these investigations vary based on the age of missing children. Juveniles 0-5 years of age are usually rescued within days. Juveniles 11-15 years old are typically rescued within two weeks. Searches for juveniles 16 and older may last 1 to 6 months.
While the Child Protection Response Unit operates throughout all of Cook County, the majority of its work has taken place in the city of Chicago.