Local Law Enforcement Leaders Train to Respond to Child Abductions

Published 03/12 2014 05:57PM

Updated 03/12 2014 09:52PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Local law enforcement leaders are training to respond to a child abduction, and they are getting ready for a drill that will test that readiness.

"You always want to be ready, and it could happen any time, anywhere, and you never know when it's going to happen," said Beery Johnson, C.A.R.T. Member.

Although you can never be fully prepared for a child abduction, if one happens, Buchanan County's Child Abduction Response Team will know what to do.

"We always want to be prepared, and practice makes us prepared," said Johnson.

C.A.R.T. is a group of leaders, from different agencies in the county, who search for missing children.

They prepare for child abductions in many ways, but this year, they are taking a different approach.

"We plan on having a mock child abduction exercise," said Sgt. Jennifer Protzman, St. Joseph Police Department.

The mock abduction is for C.A.R.T. to practice how quickly and efficiently they respond.

"See if everybody's working together, and if we have all the resources we need in order to test our protocol," she said.

Protzman, the C.A.R.T. Coordinator, said it is important to go through practice drills not only for them, but for people in the area.

"Let the community know that we're trying to do everything we can to be prepared to be able to respond to a missing child, or abduction incident," said Protzman.

Dispatchers, from the St. Joseph Police Department, will notify residents when the mock abduction is taking place through a Nixle Alert.

The alerts give real-time updates to the public, through text or email, of incidents around town.

"Stay away from a certain area because an event is going on, or to be looking for somebody, such as a missing child," said Protzman.

Only those signed up for the alerts will receive a notification.

"If we really did have an abduction, as soon as we could get something like that out, then we have all these people looking for a vehicle, a person, or whatever it might be," said Johnson.

C.A.R.T. members recommend signing up for Nixle Alerts because they look to the public for tips when searching for a missing child.

Nixle Alerts are free.

To sign up for them, click here.

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