BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Headlines of children and teens missing around Kern County seem abundant, but the Bakersfield Police Department said the number of missing juveniles is actually lower than average this year.
BPD Sgt. Robert Pair said so far 2020 averages around 37 runaway juveniles per week compared to 2019 which averaged about 48 runaway juveniles per week.
Pair said the fact that most people are staying at home now might factor into the drop in numbers, with more parents at home with kids. But social media continues to be a risk when it comes to cases like this.
"They definitely have more capability to communicate with people that the parents do not know about," Pair said.
To keep kids safe online, Pair suggests parents keep a close eye on their social media accounts, be mindful of who their kids' friends are, and pay attention to behavioral changes.