Police responses to missing persons; Search & rescue teams; Evidence-based policing; 

Policy studies; Qualitative research


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Lorna Ferguson is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Western Ontario, and is the Founder of the Missing Persons Research Hub and Commentaries Editor for Police Practice and Research: An International Journal. She is also an Independent Research Consultant and Vanier Scholar. Previously, Lorna was the Director of Operations for Can-SEBP but stepped away from that role to develop the Missing Persons Research Hub. She has worked in several research positions with various researchers on several topics, not only from Canada but also from the United States (U.S.) and United Kingdom (U.K.). Lorna received both her M.A. in Sociology and B.A. Honor Specialization in Criminology from the University of Western Ontario. Before entering her Masters degree, she worked at the Correctional Service of Canada in Parole and Community Corrections.

Lorna is a criminologist that has dedicated almost ten years to studying crime and criminal justice and/or working in this field. Overall, she has a broad interest in policing research and developing evidence-based approaches to policing and crime prevention, including issues related to firearms, crime concentration, and police social media use. Currently, she focuses on police responses to missing person cases. The purpose of this research is to fill in knowledge gaps on 'what works,' 'what doesn't work,' and 'what we still don't know' in terms of how to most effectively and efficiently search for and investigate missing persons. She has educated, trained, and/or partnered with over thirty police services and several individual police officers to enhance police practices and policies and police officer knowledge on missing persons in Canada. With her research, outreach, and the Missing Persons Research Hub, her ultimate goals are to improve Canadian scholarship in this area and contribute to preventing and reducing missingness in Canada. Her most recent research has appeared in Police Practice and Research: An International Journal, Policing: An International Journal, and Deviant Behavior.