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Posts Tagged ‘NCMA’

Last night, John Walsh, on America’s Most Wanted (AMW), made a curious comment about missing children. He stated the FBI has 800,000 active missing children cases making it a point to distinguish them from missing adults. The statement wasn’t clarified in terms of whether they were family abductions; endangered runaways; non-family abductions; and lost, injured, or otherwise missing children. While it is a cumulative number covering an unspecified time frame, coincidentally there are in excess of 800,000 children reported missing each year according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP).

If there are that many active missing children cases, why are there “only” 2,707 children listed at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), an organization he help start?

He also mentioned in a story about missing Kyle Fleischmann , in 2007, Kyle’s family and friends formed The Kyle Fleischmann Foundation(KFF), a charitable and educational foundation that uses donated funds to help families find other missing adults.

Ironically, there was no mention of the National Center for Missing Adults(NCMA) which is sorely lacking in funds due to the failure of the U.S. Congress to re-authorize funding the past few years.

The National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA) is a division of Nation’s Missing Children Organization, Inc. (NMCO) – a 501c (3) non-profit organization working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs.

The National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA) was formally established after the passage of Kristen’s Law (H.R. 2780) by the 106th United States Congress on October 26th, 2000 (S11181). As directed by H.R. 2780, NCMA operates as the national clearinghouse for missing adults, providing services and coordination between various government agencies, law enforcement, media, and most importantly – the families of missing adults. NCMA also maintains a national database of missing adults determined to be “endangered” or otherwise at-risk.

The reason this is being mentioned on a  blog about missing children is because of a recent post about David Goldman and his son Sean; “Fighting for Sean“. The number one question asked concerning his plight, “why isn’t the government helping him in his fight“?

Equally important is why aren’t they helping in all missing person cases? Afterall, Nanci Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, served as a member of the ” The Missing And Exploited Children’s Caucus“.

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On the Dr. Phil show, Ernie Allen, president and founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, quoted statistics about the number of missing children found after Hurricane Katrina struck the gulf coast several years ago when responding to this question.

Dr. Phil:

“Common sense, just common experience, tells me that blonde-haired, blue-eyed, gorgeous little children get a lot more exposure and attention locally and nationally than do those from lower socio-economic strata and those from minorities,” Dr. Phil points out. “Set me straight, Ernie.” … “Can you name one of these cases, in the last four or five years, that was a minority case that got the media attention?” Dr. Phil probes.

Ernie Allen:

“A little girl in Philadelphia in 2002 — a 7-year-old named Erica Pratt, who was abducted for ransom and escaped — received intense media coverage. Probably the most dramatic example was, of course, the children who were missing in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina,” Ernie responds. “We helped find 5,200 kids. So the media works. The challenge is, there are just not enough kids being focused on.”

What he didn’t mention was:

  • Any case in the last four or five years
  • The involvement of the National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA)
  • The number of children still missing after Hurricane Ike this year.

According to KTRK-TV ABC13 in Houston, Tx:

FRIENDSWOOD, TX — There are still dozens of families waiting for word on loved ones still missing from Hurricane Ike. A number of the missing are children.

The Laura Recovery Center has pictures posted on its Web site. More than 360 cases are unresolved, 25 are children, and even today they received more calls from family members trying to locate loved ones.

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At the same time states are implementing “Silver Alerts” to aid in the search for missing older adults, the Federal Government appears to be forcing the closure of the National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA).

To Family Members and Friends of the Missing,

Monday, November 5th, 2007, might be remembered by those involved in the missing persons cause as a day in which a huge step backwards was taken.

Unless something major breaks in the way of funding, this will be the day in which the National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA) will close their doors. Thousands of families will be affected, now and in the future.

Why is this happening?

The answer is complex, but in summary:

  • The NCMA stepped up and assisted over 13,000 victims of Hurricane Katrina and was to be reimbursed for those expenditures, which were close to $250,000. At this time, the NCMA has only received $50,000 to cover the work they did at the request of the Dept. of Justice.
  • The 2007 re-authorization of Kristen’s Law, (HR 423) which would provide the NCMA with up to $4 million per year in funding for 10 years, continues to remain in the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security committee, with no action taken to help the center. This re-authorization effort has been in the works unsuccessfully since 2005.
  • As experienced not only by the NCMA, but by other national organizations, including ours, the public does not generally consider missing adults’ assistance nonprofits as a part of their charitable giving plans. Corporations are also hesitant to provide funding, and grant makers don’t seem responsive, either. This lack of support has also contributed to the problem.


What will save the NCMA at this late hour?

If an “angel” company or person comes forward who can help keep the center operating until the Kristen’s Law Re-authorization funds are released.

AND/OR

The DOJ immediately releases the funds owed to the NCMA from their work related to Hurricane Katrina.


What Can I Do?

I spent time talking with Kym Pasqualini, founder of the NCMA, late last night, and based upon the conversation, this is what she asks of you if you feel moved to help with a final effort.

  • Kym feels that, out of all the national media, the person who could best help with exposure and a push for action is Larry King of CNN’s Larry King Live Show. She says that Larry’s show is watched by many members of congress and that he is not afraid to step on toes to get something accomplished. If she could get a spot on his show as soon as possible, she plans to talk candidly about the situation.If you can help with this step, please write to Larry King at larrykinglive@cnn.com and ask him to have Kym on as a guest immediately. Keep in mind that even if a spot on the show is not successful at moving congress or getting the Katrina reimbursement, it could reach the “angel” company or person as mentioned above.
  •  Contact Peter D. Keisler, acting Attorney General, and let him know how you feel about missing adults losing their national clearinghouse and resource. Mention the 2007 re-authorization of Kristen’s Law, (HR 423) You can also write to Vice President Dick Cheney at vice_president@whitehouse.gov The White House fax is 202-456-2461. Use AskDOJ@usdoj.gov to send correspondence to the Attorney General’s office.

Time is quickly running out for this year’s session, so please send your letters right away.

No matter what happens, we need to find a way to gain more support from the general public for our missing persons’ assistance organizations. We cannot allow the continued disintegration of all we have worked so hard for in the past few years.

Not only would the loss of the NCMA represent less support for families of the missing, but it also means that another avenue of training for law enforcement is gone. (When fully funded, the NCMA had assisted with providing specialized missing adults investigative training through the excellent Fox Valley Technical College.)

I know this is long, but in order to gain a better understanding, I would like you to also read the following:

http://voice4themissing.blogspot.com/2006/07/71006-matter-of-urgency.html (I am also posting this update on that link.)

There is a letter on the previous site that we used in our original campaign. I have re-written that letter for use in this campaign. You may use this letter to send to our government representatives and the Attorney General’s office. You will find this letter below my signature.

I know I have asked much of you, so if you can only do one thing suggested in this letter, write to Larry King and ask him to have Kym on as a guest right away.

Remember when the NCMA was there for you? Now you can be there for them.

If we do not try, then we will never succeed. If we do try, then we have a chance.

There is always hope.

Kelly Jolkowski, Mother of Missing Jason Jolkowski

President and Founder, Project Jason

www.projectjason.org

(more…)

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