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Archive for the ‘Missing Children Resources’ Category

There are 2,741 posters of missing children listed at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). The posters typically include a photo accompanied by descriptive information and the circumstances surrounding the child’s disappearance. No sensitive information is posted such as social security numbers, address or medical information. So why would they be opposed to any on-line registry which would contain the same information but be used as a proactive measure should the child go missing?

A quick visit to their site under FAQ: Child ID you will find this statement.

Should the information be stored in a central database?
No. Some child ID systems use online registration features. Only parents and guardians should store and have access to these items and/or test results of their child(ren). NCMEC does not support storage of these items or test results for the purpose of providing child identification by law enforcement, government, schools, or any commercial company or third party, either for profit or not-for-profit.

However, even though companies such as the Child Alert Center have long advocated making this information available to parents and law enforcement on line, it appears it is a viable solution now that contributions or sponsorships are involved.

Is a child’s information safe online?
Yes, a child’s information is safe online with Family Trusted. There is no central database; rather, the information is stored in a “virtual vault.” Only parents, not Family Trusted, can unlock or access a child’s information by using a user ID and password. The ability to keep information secure and then have instant access to it in the case of a missing child is critical to search efforts when every second counts.

The Child Alert Center Charities, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit provides families of active military personnel registrations for free.

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According to the NCMEC, most abduction attempts occur after-school, between the hours of 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.1  Almost half of non-family abduction attempts happen when a child is walking to or from school or a related school activity.2
The overwhelming majority of abducted children are taken by someone they know; even among non-family abductions more than 46 percent of the children know their abductors3.

So you have to wonder how a  5 year-old in El Paso, Tx. could not only mistakenly board the wrong Daycare bus but attend the daycare seemingly unnoticed while authorities searched for her.

The district sent out a statement that reads:

“The El Paso Independent School District is deeply concerned that a student mistakenly boarded a daycare bus. Every campus in the district has procedures to identify whether a parent or daycare is to pick up a student. We rely greatly on the communication between our parents and staff to ensure the process goes smoothly. We will continue to improve our communications with parents to ensure that a situation of this nature does not happen again.”

The owner of the daycare when questioned why it took three hours to realize she didn’t attend there issued a different statement.

No comment.

In Kentucky, a 5 year-old was simply dropped at the wrong bus stop.

Bus Stop Mishap Leaves Child’s Mother Furious

A mother searched frantically for her five year old son after he didn’t return home on the school bus Wednesday.

But that mother’s fear turned to outrage, after she says she learned the Woodford County School bus driver let her little boy off at the wrong stop

It would be easy to dismiss these as isolated incidents or to take comfort in the fact the children were unharmed. However if the statistics are to be believed, then the outcome could have been much different.

1National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Special Analysis Unit.  This data analysis was conducted on 1,746 attempted abductions tracked and confirmed with law enforcement from Feb. 1, 2005 through June 30, 2008.
2National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Special Analysis Unit.
3This statistic includes all non-family abduction cases intaked at NCMEC within the past two years. In many of these cases, the relationship of the abductor to the child was never reported to NCMEC; therefore it is likely that far more than 46 percent of the children knew their abductors – the data was simply not recorded.

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Kamiyah Mobley

Kamiyah was abducted from her mother’s room at University Medical Center in Jacksonville, FL at 3:00 p.m. on July 10, 1998. The suspect was dressed in a nurse’s blue floral smock and green scrub pants. She is a black female, approx. 25-35 years old, 130-160 lbs. She possibly wears wigs and glasses. The child has Mongolian spots on her buttocks which tend to fade in 6-8 months. No infant metabolic screening has been performed on the baby. Birth mother has tested positive for sickle cell anemia and strep type B. Kamiyah also has an umbilical hernia.

Should you see this donated billboard consider thanking Clear Channel Outdoor-Jacksonville Division, Florida Outdoor Advertising Association (FOAA) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE).

FL Outdoor Advertising Association, FOAA and its members are long-standing partners with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and the Missing and Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse (MEPIC) and have provided assistance with donated space on billboards for more than eight years. This generosity by FOAA members has provided a valuable resource to FDLE. As a result of this partnership, FOAA has been appointed to, and has become actively involved in, two FDLE/MEPIC state committees: Missing Children Advisory Board Committee and the AMBER Alert Review Committee. In addition, FOAA members have been providing donated space on traditional billboards for many years with the “Missing Children” public service campaign. Our members play a major role in assisting this state agency in their efforts to locate missing and abducted children.

In 2006, FOAA and FDLE took this partnership one step further and established the first statewide partnership to raise community awareness for AMBER and Missing Child Alerts by using donated space on digital billboards. This became an additional resource to Florida’s AMBER Plan. There are separate criteria to distinguish between the two Alerts. An AMBER Alert is a higher priority because the child is believed to be in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death. Missing Child Alerts do not meet the strict criteria for an AMBER Alert activation, but are still a much-needed resource to FDLE and local law enforcement. As a primary member of the FDLE’s distribution list for Alerts, FOAA members are on the front line when it comes to aiding law enforcement.

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The state agency has had 231 Amber Alert requests since August 2002, Block said. A total of 191 were denied and 40 requests, involving about 46 children, were accepted. About 43 of those children were found safe. The agency doesn’t track the outcomes of the requests that are denied

Why doesn’t the state have a compelling interest to be involved in the tracking of the 191 cases that were denied? Would it not be of value to understand the outcome of the denied cases?

…”I think we should always be reviewing everything we do, especially when situations like this come to light,” said Isett, R-Lubbock. “We can’t imagine every circumstance when we

write a law. … I think it is safe to say I would be interested in more flexibility.”

Isett, who chairs the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission, said he plans to start the conversation early next year and call for a review of the procedures that trigger the alert system.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is up for review this year by the Sunset Advisory Commission. The commission reviews all government agencies every 12 years to identify and eliminate waste, duplication and inefficiency.

So has the SAC ever reviewed the AMBER Alert system which began on 1996? Why wait 12 years to review the effectiveness of an agency?

“This would probably be a good time and a good reason (to start discussing it),” Isett said, noting the abduction’s unique circumstances. “When you had a pretty good reason to suspect foul play, the state would have, I think, a compelling interest to be involved.”

It might also be a good time and a good reason to track the cases of the 191 denied requests.

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Would you have been as interested had you not thought it was a football score?

How often do you think AMBER alerts are issued? How successful are they? You can find some of the answers in the 2007 AMBER ALERT REPORT

Texas issued the most alerts (31) followed by Michigan (29). These states issued none; Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, U.S. Virgin Islands, Vermont, and West Virginia.

SUMMARY OF AMBER ALERT CASES

Between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2007, 227 AMBER Alert cases were issued in the United States involving 278 children. At the time the AMBER Alert cases were intaked there were 106 FAs, 94 NFAs, 25 LIMs, and 2 ERUs. Seventeen (17) cases were later determined to be hoaxes, and 22 cases were later determined to be unfounded.

Of the 227 AMBER Alerts issued between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2007, 188 cases resulted in a recovery, 48 of which were successfully recovered as a direct result of those respective AMBER Alerts being issued. Six (6) children were recovered deceased, and as of February 20, 2008, when statistics for this report were generated, no AMBER Alerts issued in 2007 remained active.

Recently a boy was abducted in Las Vegas, allegedly by members of a Mexican drug cartel. At the time, the perception was there was a nationwide AMBER Alert issued but there is no nationwide AMBER Alert system. In fact according to this study, none were issued in 2007.

MULTISTATE AMBER ALERTS
When an AMBER Alert is issued an abductor may take the child outside the jurisdiction of the
issuing law-enforcement authority. In some cases the state where the AMBER Alert originated
may request an AMBER Alert be extended into another state. In 2007, 6 AMBER Alerts were
extended beyond the limits of the state where the AMBER Alert first originated.

 

 

Note: FAs- family abductions, NFAs-non family abductions, LIMs- lost injured missing, and ERUs- Endangered runaways.

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