109.65 Missing children clearinghouse - missing children fund.

(A) As used in this section, "minor," "missing child," and "missing children" have the same meanings as in section 2901.30 of the Revised Code.

(B) There is hereby created within the office of the attorney general the missing children clearinghouse. The attorney general shall administer the clearinghouse. The clearinghouse is established as a central repository of information to coordinate and improve the availability of information regarding missing children, which information shall be collected and disseminated by the clearinghouse to assist in the location of missing children. The clearinghouse shall act as an information repository separate from and in addition to law enforcement agencies within this state.

(C) The missing children clearinghouse may perform any of the following functions:

(1) The establishment of services to aid in the location of missing children that include, but are not limited to, any of the following services:

(a) Assistance in the preparation and dissemination of flyers identifying and describing missing children and their abductors;

(b) The development of informational forms for the reporting of missing children that may be used by parents, guardians, and law enforcement officials to facilitate the location of a missing child;

(c) The provision of assistance to public and private organizations, boards of education, nonpublic schools, preschools, child care facilities, and law enforcement agencies in planning and implementing voluntary programs to fingerprint children.

(2) The establishment and operation of a toll-free telephone line for supplemental reports of missing children and reports of sightings of missing children;

(3) Upon the request of any person or entity and upon payment of any applicable fee established by the attorney general under division (H) of this section, the provision to the person or entity who makes the request of a copy of any information possessed by the clearinghouse that was acquired or prepared pursuant to division (E)(3) of this section;

(4) The performance of liaison services between individuals and public and private agencies regarding procedures for handling and responding to missing children reports;

(5) The participation as a member in any networks of other missing children centers or clearinghouses;

(6) The creation and operation of an intrastate network of communication designed for the speedy collection and processing of information concerning missing children.

(D) If a board of education is notified by school personnel that a missing child is attending any school under the board's jurisdiction, or if the principal or chief administrative officer of a nonpublic school is notified by school personnel that a missing child is attending that school, the board or the principal or chief administrative officer immediately shall give notice of that fact to the missing children clearinghouse and to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the area where the missing child resides.

(E)

(1) The attorney general, in cooperation with the department of job and family services, shall establish a "missing child educational program" within the missing children clearinghouse that shall perform the functions specified in divisions (E)(1) to (3) of this section. The program shall operate under the supervision and control of the attorney general in accordance with procedures that the attorney general shall develop to implement divisions (E)(1) to (3) of this section. The attorney general shall cooperate with the department of education in developing and disseminating information acquired or prepared pursuant to division (E)(3) of this section.

(2) Upon the request of any board of education in this state or any nonpublic school in this state, the missing child educational program shall provide to the board or school a reasonable number of copies of the information acquired or prepared pursuant to division (E)(3) of this section.

Upon the request of any board of education in this state or any nonpublic school in this state that, pursuant to section 3313.96 of the Revised Code, is developing an information program concerning missing children issues and matters, the missing child educational program shall provide to the board or nonpublic school assistance in developing the information program. The assistance may include, but is not limited to, the provision of any or all of the following:

(a) If the requesting entity is a board of education of a school district, sample policies on missing and exploited children issues to assist the board in complying with section 3313.205 of the Revised Code;

(b) Suggested safety curricula regarding missing children issues, including child safety and abduction prevention issues;

(c) Assistance in developing, with local law enforcement agencies, prosecuting attorneys, boards of education, school districts, and nonpublic schools, cooperative programs for fingerprinting children;

(d) Other assistance to further the goals of the program.

(3) The missing child educational program shall acquire or prepare informational materials relating to missing children issues and matters. These issues and matters include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) The types of missing children;

(b) The reasons why and how minors become missing children, the potential adverse consequences of a minor becoming a missing child, and, in the case of minors who are considering running away from home or from the care, custody, and control of their parents, parent who is the residential parent and legal custodian, guardian, legal custodian, or another person responsible for them, alternatives that may be available to address their concerns and problems;

(c) Offenses under federal law that could relate to missing children and other provisions of federal law that focus on missing children;

(d) Offenses under the Revised Code that could relate to missing children, including, but not limited to, kidnapping, abduction, unlawful restraint, child stealing, interference with custody, endangering children, domestic violence, abuse of a child and contributing to the dependency, neglect, unruliness, or delinquency of a child, sexual offenses, drug offenses, prostitution offenses, and obscenity offenses, and other provisions of the Revised Code that could relate to missing children;

(e) Legislation being considered by the general assembly, legislatures of other states, the congress of the United States, and political subdivisions in this or any other state to address missing children issues;

(f) Sources of information on missing children issues;

(g) State, local, federal, and private systems for locating and identifying missing children;

(h) Law enforcement agency programs, responsibilities, and investigative techniques in missing children matters;

(i) Efforts on the community level in this and other states, concerning missing children issues and matters, by governmental entities and private organizations;

(j) The identification of private organizations that, among their primary objectives, address missing children issues and matters;

(k) How to avoid becoming a missing child and what to do if one becomes a missing child;

(l) Efforts that schools, parents, and members of a community can undertake to reduce the risk that a minor will become a missing child and to quickly locate or identify a minor if he becomes a missing child, including, but not limited to, fingerprinting programs.

(F) Each year the missing children clearinghouse shall issue a report describing its performance of the functions specified in division (E) of this section and shall provide a copy of the report to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, the governor, the superintendent of the bureau of criminal identification and investigation, and the director of job and family services.

(G) Any state agency or political subdivision of this state that operates a missing children program or a clearinghouse for information about missing children shall coordinate its activities with the missing children clearinghouse.

(H) The attorney general shall determine a reasonable fee to be charged for providing to any person or entity other than a state or local law enforcement agency of this or any other state, a law enforcement agency of the United States, a board of education of a school district in this state, a nonpublic school in this state, a governmental entity in this state, or a public library in this state, pursuant to division (A)(3) of this section, copies of any information acquired or prepared pursuant to division (E)(3) of this section. The attorney general shall collect the fee prior to sending or giving copies of any information to any person or entity for whom or which this division requires the fee to be charged and shall deposit the fee into the missing children fund created by division (I) of this section.

(I) There is hereby created in the state treasury the missing children fund that shall consist of all moneys awarded to the state by donation, gift, or bequest, all other moneys received for purposes of this section, and all fees collected pursuant to this section or section 109.64 of the Revised Code. The attorney general shall use the moneys in the missing children fund only for purposes of the office of the attorney general acquiring or preparing information pursuant to division (E)(3) of this section.

(J) The failure of the missing children clearinghouse to undertake any function or activity authorized in this section does not create a cause of action against the state.

Cite as R.C. § 109.65

History. Effective Date: 07-01-2000