Missing teens raise security concerns at Crossville youth center

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- The search for two missing boys who escaped from a Crossville youth center has raised some security concerns.

Jacob Crow was hopeful the Cumberland Mountain School Youth Impact Center would put his troubled son on the right path.

"He had been there for a month. It seemed like things were going ok," Crow said.

That's until Crossville Police say his son 15-year-old Jacob Crow and another teen ditched the facility earlier this month. They haven't been seen since they were reported missing.

"If they get mad they can just walk off. There aren't security guards there," said Major Terry White with the Crossville Police Department.

It's an easy escape that's lead authorities on more than two dozen searches. According to police, about 37 teenagers have managed to escape the center over the past three years.

Cumberland County Sheriff Butch Burgess has fostered several troubled teens including some who have been housed at the center.

He told Local 8 News the teenagers aren't "locked down."

"Even in a lock-down you're not going to assure they won't run off.
So, when you have them out in a setting such as that, all they have to do is walk up the road and there isn't anything anyone can do about it," Sheriff Burgess said.

Crossville Police is working with the center to discuss security issues.
Major White told Local 8 News putting a fence could help prevent teens from getting away.

In the meantime, authorities are doing everything they can to find Crow and 15-year-old Hunter Smith.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Crossville Police.


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