Village of Mamaroneck Police Spokesperson Appears on 'Today' Show Segment About Missing Children

Det. Sandra DiRuzza, spokesperson for the Village of Mamaroneck Police Department, helped conduct an undercover experiment at Boiano Bakery to test the effectiveness of missing child posters.


Update: DiRuzza said the intent of the segment was to raise awareness of the fact that children go missing every day and the actions regular citizens can take to aid in their return home.

"A lot of people think it's just a face on a poster...There is a possibility you might see that child," she said.

The Village of Mamaroneck Police Department was contacted in March by the "TODAY" show but didn't publicize the event, so as not to compromise the results of the experiment.

When asked why she thought more people didn't step forward, DiRuzza replied, "It could be a myraid of things—people don't want to get involved or end up being wrong."

But, she urged people to report anything that seems out of the ordinary, even if it turns out to be a false alarm.

"Let us make that determination," she said, adding, "Imagine if you missed the opportunity to locate a missing child."

A little over a week after a Rye teenager, Pierce Crowley, went missing, "TODAY" National Investigative Correspondent Jeff Rossen conducted an experiment at in Mamaroneck to test whether or not people would contact the authorities to report a "missing child," moments after she was spotted.

The entire segment—which aired yesterday morning—can be viewed by clicking here.

Despite traffic in and out of the bakery where the girl posing as a missing child was spotted, only three people reported the incident to police.

Fake missing child posters were posted all over Mamaroneck, and the actress playing the missing girl was seated in Boiano Bakery, while hidden cameras recorded people's reactions.  Several people appeared hesitant to say anything even though they recognized the girl from the poster near the register.

According to the article, Det. DiRuzza—who was watching the events unfold on hidden camera—said, "We would rather come out and investigate it and have it be nothing versus miss an opportunity to save a child."

joseph June 08, 2012 at 01:27 PM
I totally get & understand the disappointment you all must be feeling but the bottom line is 3 people came forward & it only takes 1 to get the job done & so that's why the posters work . Stop just looking at the negative for a moment & realize the system works even if only 1 comes forward & acts as a concerned citizen ....
Mamk NY June 08, 2012 at 02:59 PM
This whole report was incredibly manipulative and misleading. I can't understand why VoM PD participated, unless they plan some sort of educational outreach around this program. As it is, all I see is another manipulative news piece designed to shock and deliver ratings.
LD June 08, 2012 at 04:12 PM
I agree with Joseph, 3 people called so it was a sucsess!!!! I was out that day in the village and saw the Girls posters on the cosmos n alex deli.. window,,,I was with my 3 year old and i said to my son look she is missing see thats why you always have to hold mommys hand.....and when we came back from our erands i saw the girl with the detictives huddled right out side the backery and my heart dropped and i said oh they found her.. Thank God and then one of the men there said to the girl yeah its ok to take off your sweatshirt now ( she had on a white sweatshirt zipped up so the missing picture poster wouldnt look to much like her) so When they told her yeah you can take off her sweatshirt now.. I said was she missing and then man wearing a suit replyed EVERYHINGS FINE...so when they answer you like that it makes you feel like ok its none of my bussiness,,,,,but i had a feeling it was staged..Anyway Joseph is correct 3 people called ony takes one!! Laura
LMF June 08, 2012 at 04:59 PM
What the VOM PD needs to REALLY do (instead of participating in staged events related to rare events) is start REALLY enforcing everyday quality -of-life infractions....on a daily basis I see drivers on Mam'k Ave. passing red lights, texting, speeding thru school zones, etc....that's what REALLY should get more attention/enforcement!!!


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