SUFFOLK COUNTY (WABC) -- It is rare to see people stop and listen - and listen intently to strangers handing out flyers. However, when the faces on the flyers are missing people - that changes everything.
"If I had a family member missing it would rip my heart out, not knowing where they are, if they're ok, even if they're alive or not," said community ambassador Debbie Virga.
The Suffolk County Police Department is making it a point to improve how it deals with its missing persons cases. They are putting a supervisor from the Chief of Detectives in charge of the cases who will make sure the cases are reviewed every week.
"Additionally every Monday, we're going to have a missing persons Monday on our social media platform," said Suffolk County Police Chief Rodney Harrison.
The department's community ambassadors will be the boots on the ground - handing out flyers and seeking information from the community.
"What could be more important than reuniting a missing person with their grieving family," said community ambassador Gail Bailey.
Suffolk County Police say they have 65 active missing persons cases - some of them date back to the early 80s.
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The reasons people disappear vary greatly - sometimes people want to - and Suffolk County Police want to be able to handle that better, too.
"If someone happens to go missing and they have unfortunately some mental issues, we're going to make sure our behavioral health unit reaches out," Harrison said.
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