Imperial Avenue murders bring change in how missing persons and sex crimes are investigated

CLEVELAND - The murders of 11 women on Imperial Avenue brought changes in how missing persons and sex crimes are investigated in Cleveland.

Almost all of the 26 recommendations made by a special commission that Mayor Frank Jackson appointed in the wake of the murders have now been implemented. They include:

- Creation of a Missing Person's Unit in the Cleveland Police Department
- A comprehensive missing person's report on the city's website. A photo component is in the works
- Email accounts for sex crimes detectives to facilitate better communication with victims
- More comfortable environments for victims to report crimes
- A Cleveland Rape Crisis Center advocate within the sex crimes unit
- Sensitivity training in investigating missing persons and sex crimes

Some of the recommendations cannot be implemented until the conclusion of the Anthony Sowell trial.  It was Sowell's house where the bodies were found. Some of the victims had been missing for years.

The oversight committee appointed to monitor implementation of the recommendations plans to keep meeting even after the remaining changes are in place.

Click here for information about missing persons in Cleveland: http://5.wews.com/vai

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