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DART Employees Find Missing Person, Receive Citizen Hero Award In Plano, Texas

The Plano Police Department had initiated the search

Plano Police Chief Ed Drain recently presented a City of Plano Outstanding Citizen Hero Award to two Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) employees.

At the ceremony, Chief Drain welcomed DART Assistant Chief Hartgraves and the team to recognize the outstanding contributions of Sharon Paramo and Sharon Curry-Phillips. The two employees were honored for their role in the search.

On Nov. 5, 2023, Ja’Kerrione Harper was reported missing, classified as endangered due to his Autism diagnosis, and limited non-verbal communication abilities.

The Plano Police Department initiated a search for Harper, enlisting Crimes Against Persons Unit detectives. Despite conducting thorough searches in Dallas and Plano, Detectives Jung and Griffin were unable to locate the missing individual. However, following a press release issued by the Plano Police Public Information Unit, they received numerous tips requiring verification. One tip suggested Harper was on an unidentified train heading towards Plano.

Despite searching the downtown train station, the detectives were unsuccessful. Detective Jung then boarded the train to Parker Road Station, where he engaged with DART attendant Paramo. She provided a Missing Person Bulletin, which Paramo distributed to other DART attendants and bus operators.

Later, the Parker Road train station informed Detective Jung that Curry-Phillips, a bus operator who had come across the missing person bulletin, located Harper. Both Curry-Phillips and Paramo remained with Harper, ensuring his safety until the arrival of the Plano Police Department. Harper was missing for two days before being reunited with his family and friends.

“The efforts of everyone involved, both direct and indirect, were extraordinary,” Chief Drain said during the ceremony. “The successful search and rescue mission was the result of outstanding teamwork exhibited by the Plano Police Department, Dallas Area Rapid Transit and other individuals who contributed to the operation. We thank you all for your exceptional service, dedication and teamwork.”

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