The Calgary Police Service is committed to thoroughly and efficiently investigating all missing persons. Below you will find important information and resources about reporting missing persons in the City of Calgary. Each year, we receive an average of 3,800 missing persons reports.
How to report a missing person
If someone you know is missing, call the non-emergency line at 403-266-1234 to make a report. If you believe that they are at imminent risk of harm, please call 9-1-1.
Prior to reporting someone missing:
- Check and search their residence
- Check with family members and friends/acquaintances of the person to make sure they have not made other plans
- Check with local hospitals
- Check with the school or employer of the person
- Check places the person frequently visits
- Check and identify their social media accounts
Police often begin a missing persons investigation with a focus on where the person was last physically seen. This location is where police can best collect information or evidence. Although CPS accepts missing persons reports from other jurisdictions, it is recommended you report the missing person to the police agency where they were last seen. This avoids delay in gathering information, compiling a report, and transmitting information to another agency.
How long should you wait to report someone missing?
You do not have to wait a set time to file a missing persons report (i.e. 24 hours, 48 hours).
Those in an individual’s social circle, such as family, friends, and coworkers, tend to be the first to notice when regular routines and patterns have changed. A key factor police use to determine if a person is missing or not is whether this is out-of-character or unusual for that individual.
Missing Persons Program
CPS has had a missing persons investigator since 1957. The investigator is responsible for the maintenance, investigation, and coordination of missing persons files. Our Missing Persons Team conducts daily reviews of new reports, and ongoing reviews of active and historical cases.
The Missing Persons Team:
- Reviews and monitors all outstanding missing persons reports.
- Investigates long-term or high-risk missing persons reports.
- Provides assistance and guidance to members of the Service in relation to the investigation of missing persons.
What happens in a missing persons investigation?
An investigation begins with a dispatch assessment to determine a missing person’s risk of imminent harm. It is important we ask key questions to determine whether an individual is at risk due to circumstantial or behavioral factors, physical or mental wellbeing, lifestyle choices, or environmental conditions. For example, we look for the following information about a missing person:
- Physical health, mental health, and competency
- Emotional state – suicidal
- Lifestyle factors and vulnerabilities – addictions, gang involvement, sex trade and exploitation
- Circumstances – out-of-character, suspicious, dangerous
- Prior involvement with police
- Environmental conditions – severe weather
The dispatch assessment is then reviewed by an officer to ensure a structured approach to evaluating the case. It is through the subsequent investigation that we determine which resources will be deployed during the investigation.
What is the solve rate for missing persons cases reported to CPS?
Since 2010, CPS has received more than 40,000 missing persons reports. The CPS solve rate is 99.9 per cent. Most missing persons are located within 24 hours.
For more information on missing persons in Canada:
Visit the following websites for information on missing persons across Canada and to access resources for families and friends of missing persons:
For information on missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+, visit the following websites:
The CPS Diversity Resource Team actively works in partnership with Calgary’s diverse communities. The team’s specialized knowledge and relationships can help obtain successful resolutions to missing persons investigations. For further information, visit the diversity resource webpage.
If you know where a missing person is, or you have any information about a missing person, call the Missing Persons Tip Line at 403-428-2250, or report it online to Crime Stoppers or by phone at 1-800-222-8477.