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Ohio Search Team Partners with the Dock Ellis Foundation to Optimize Search Coverage

The Search and Rescue members of the Ohio Special Response Team (OSRT) are proud to announce our alliance with the Dock Ellis Foundation. Dock Ellis's mission is to “...empower minority victims of human trafficking, domestic violence, and families of missing persons through education, awareness and access to services.” Further, Dock Ellis functions as a vital liaison between law enforcement, the media, and victim families to encourage public awareness of missing minority persons incidents.

Alan Plastow, Captain of the Northeast Ohio OSRT units, commented: “Our alliance with Dock Ellis will enable Ohio Special Response Team Search and Rescue units to more rapidly and comprehensively respond to incidents involving missing members of minority populations.”

Missing minorities need our assistance!

The FBI’s National Crime Information Center Missing Person and Unidentified Person Database indicates that over the course of 2020 (latest figures are available), there were 89,020 Black women and girls of all ages recorded as missing persons. At the end of 2021 there were 14,323 active missing cases involving Black females out of the 93,718 open files. Further, at least 119,519 of the missing were “juvenile” Black girls and boys.

An example of these statistics includes the case of Cierra Chapman, inssing in Dayton, Ohio. Ohio Special Response Search Teams responded and conducted a detailed search of a high probability site at the request of Dock Ellis Foundation CEO, Jasmine Lee, and the Dayton Police Department. As of this date (January 29, 2023) Cierra remains missing under suspicious circumstances.

It's important to note that, though not generally an element of Ohio missing persons incidents, cases involving missing indigenous individuals are even more frightening. For example, a 2022 Congressional Committee report indicated that, of the more than 700 Indigenous people that have gone missing in Wyoming over nearly a decade, less than 1 in 5 received any media coverage. Currently, there are no statistics regarding missing indigenous persons in Ohio.

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, called it a “crisis hiding in plain sight”.

The members of OSRT recognize that missing persons come from all walks of life, and efforts to locate them in timely manner can be enhanced by effective media coverage. We believe that it's imperative that the media, law enforcement, SAR units, and families absolutely must increase efforts by enhancing our abilities to work together while expanding awareness and definitive actions surrounding the safe and timely recovery of those who go missing – regardless of their religion, race, or creed. While it's our firm belief that law enforcement is doing its best to investigate and resolve missing persons incidents, it's also our belief that additional resources need to step up to assist.

Would you be interested in becoming part of Ohio's premier search and rescue team? The Ohio Special Response Team is always on the lookout for focused individuals who want to make a difference in their communities. Whether it's becoming a member of our basic operations support cadre, a fully qualified search and rescue technician, a search K-9 handler, a drone specialist, a rope rescue technician, or more than one of these, there's a place for nearly every interested person in our units throughout the state of Ohio. Sounds difficult, doesn't it? It's not. The members – male and female – of OSRT are people just like you. We merely take the time and effort to train and become proficient at search and rescue.

OSRT members strive to bring lost souls home to their families!

OSRT is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization of volunteers. We are funded via donations and unit fund raising activities. Technically, the organization provides force multiplier services to law enforcement, fire departments, and local/state authorities in a wide range of capabilities. However, whenever someone goes missing, OSRT is available to assist.


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