Advanced Refresher & Urban Missing Person Course

Combined MLSO Advanced Refresher And
Managing The Urban Missing Person Search Course

The Managing Land Search Operations course is a prerequisite for this training.

Course Description

This course combines the principles of Managing The Urban Missing Person Search with a refresher and advanced search management techniques.

Traditional land based search usually involves a person or persons who have gone into the outdoors in a remote or rural area, and become lost or incapacitated. In urban/ suburban areas it is very difficult to get lost in the traditional sense. People who go missing in this environment are usually the young, the elderly, or others who may not be in a normal mental state. Many are victims of crime. Investigating a missing person case in the city is routine police work. Managing a resulting search operation is not. While police agencies normally conduct these type operations, many lack the resources or the expertise to conduct urban search effectively and efficiently.

This course addresses these issues and now includes a general refresher of the initial MLSO course. Topics such as missing person investigation, search organisation, missing person behaviour, selection and use of resources, planning, strategy and tactics, and other urban specific search topics are presented. Two case study map problems bring the academic material into focus.

Who Should Attend

  • Police Officers
  • Police Search Advisers (POLSA)
  • Police and other agency Search Managers
  • Missing person or search and rescue specialists
  • Police supervisors
  • Detectives and those responsible for case investigation and review
  • Control room staff and call-takers
  • Search and rescue team Search Managers/Controllers
  • Search and rescue team leaders
  • Coastguard staff

Course Content

Urban Element – Preplanning and Vulnerability Assessment

Preplanning issues are discussed to include the components of a SAR vulnerability assessment for urban and suburban areas:

  • A history of missing persons in the area.
  • At-risk populations.
  • At-risk facilities (nursing homes, care centres, etc.)
  • Hazards and attractions.
  • SAR statistics – what are they in your area?
  • Helpful national and international data bases that can be useful in the urban missing person search.
  • Differences in rural and urban/suburban SAR.
  • Using a Unified Command System for urban search management.
  • Categories of missing persons, in all age groups, and their potential behaviour:
  • Selection and use of traditional and non-traditional SAR resources: Transitioning from the woods to the city streets.
  • The planning process, the key to efficient operations.
  • Review SAR theory and principles of incident management.
  • Investigating the urban missing person case.
  • Developing effective strategies and objectives.
  • Tactical operations and efficient use of resources.
  • Information management and the effects of external influences.
  • Managing the media, the family and the casual volunteer.
  • Logistical support and operation of the incident base.

Advanced Refresher Element

  • A National and International SAR Picture. (Methodology and Best Practices)
  • Case Study Lessons Learned
  • The Six Step Management Process.
  • Developing a Plan, First Notice and Determining Urgency.
  • Reflex Tasking and Incident Management. (ICS)
  • Investigation and Interviewing.
  • Latest Missing Person Behaviour Data.
  • Designating, Tracking and Prioritizing the Search Area using Subject Behaviour Data.
  • Latest POD Research and “Sweep Width.”
  • Practical Application of Search Theory.
  • Target Orientation, Vision and POD Data.
  • Briefing and Debriefing.
  • Legal Issues and Public Expectations.
  • Searching in the Urban Environment.
  • Use of Computer Technology and Search Management. Software.
  • Aerial Support with Digital Mapping.
  • Review of Research and Field Experiments.



Course Objectives

On successful completion of this course, participants should be able to:

  • Apply the fundamentals of missing person search management in both urban and suburban environment practical map exercises.
  • Demonstrate familiarity with a Unified Command System in a first response situation.
  • Describe appropriate actions in a missing person scenario to include appropriate protocols for the following:
    • Obtaining sufficient information for a complete initial report.
    • Determining possible subject behaviour that may influence search strategy.
    • Evaluate the need to search as apposed to waiting (Search Urgency).
    • Determining and applying appropriate resources for an urban setting.
    • Determining initial strategy and tactics that will produce the greatest chances for success.
    • Organising and managing the initial search effort.
    • Communications and management of casual volunteers and family members in an urban setting search.
  • Have awareness of the technical knowledge needed to run a major search incident.
  • Understand the value of local lost subject data applied to current strategies & search tactics.
  • Learned lessons from research & ‘best practices’ from multi-country experience.
  • Put into practice the comprehensive planning & coordination based on multi-country police search success.
  • Have gained specialist knowledge about the behaviour of certain categories of missing persons such as children & those suffering from Dementia of Alzheimer’s disorder.
  • Have benefited from networking with other police personnel on common search incident problems.


Course Duration

  • 3 Day (24 hour) This is an orientation to the essential elements of managing an urban missing person search combined with a refresher element and advanced techniques. The course was designed for SAR trained personnel to expand knowledge about conducting search operations in city or urban environments. Pre-requisite course training for this program is the standard 5 day Managing Land Search Operations course. This course includes components that deal with planning issues, gathering planning data, more in-depth investigation issues and the actual detailed management of searches in the urban and suburban settings. Includes two actual search case studies conducted as map exercises with appropriate forms and hands on application of urban specific resources to solve the problems.


  • North East Wales Institute (NEWI), Mold Road, Wrexham, North Wales. Location map by Multimap (Now renamed Glyndŵr University)


  • 12th – 14th May 2014
  • 20th – 22nd October2014


  • £640 + VAT fully inclusive. Or

  • £495 + VAT without accommodation.
    (See details below )

  • Additional night’s (B&B) accommodation before the course costs an extra £70 + VAT.


Payment Details

Bookings from private individuals & organisations must be accompanied by payment unless prior arrangements have been made. Invoices will be issued to Police, Local & Central Government Departments as soon as bookings are received. Accounts from such organisations can be settled prior to the course or within thirty days of its conclusion.

What The Course Fees Include

  1. All student materials, (An Urban Search Management handbook for quick & easy reference, & all necessary exercise materials.)

  2. Full support from experienced staff who will be available for extra instruction during the evenings if necessary.

  3. Full cooked breakfast (if accommodation booked).

  4. Buffet lunch & evening meal.

  5. Accommodation for two nights in a single room en-suite (if booked).

To book this course, or for more information, please contact Mike Rose at

Tailor-made courses and in-force training courses are also available.

Please contact us to discuss your requirements.