SPIRIT LAKE, Idaho — The Spirit Lake Police Department is sending a message to parents to make sure they know who their children’s friends are.

Department leaders said they received several recent calls about runaway teenagers. They said most of the parents involved didn’t know who their teens might be hanging out with.

"Sometimes those things shouldn't go without saying. They need to be said,” Public Information Officer Heather McDaniel.

A reminder from those who see it firsthand. In November alone, police in Spirit Lake dealt with four cases of runaway kids. When they started investigating where they went, what officers found was sadly surprising.

"A lot of the parents didn't have any idea of where their kids were, who they were hanging out with," McDaniel said.

That makes a cop's job more difficult and it's hard to start looking. Spirit Lake police officials said it's hard to blame the parents in a community like this because most people trust their neighbors.

But still, that's not an excuse to not ask your kids questions. Police said your kid's network of friends will be your network of knowledge if anything happens to them.

Luckily, in the runaway cases in November, all four of the children were found.

"If we can get that information out there to people, then it means that we're doing our jobs. If we can keep at least one kid safe because of it," McDaniel said.

Police add that it's worth meeting those friends and their parents face to face.