Law enforcement uses new tool to find kids - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Law enforcement uses new tool to find kids

Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk
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May 24, 2004

Valdosta - Every 40 seconds, a child is reported missing in the United States. South Georgia law enforcement now have a new tool to help bring those children home safely. "We're now linked into the 'A Child is Missing' program which is located in Florida," said Lowndes County Sheriff Ashley Paulk.

Here's how the program works. Once 'A Child is Missing' headquarters is notified, workers use a satellite to pull up phone numbers of homes and businesses in the area where the child was last seen. They then send out an alert to thousands of people within minutes. "You would actually get a computer generated phone call from the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department with a description of the child and what the situation is," said Paulk.

Up to 1000 telephone alert calls can be made in just 60 seconds, and spreading the word fast is the key in bringing a child home safely. "If the child is abducted, the abductor will usually get rid of the child within the first two hours," said Sherry Friedlander, Program Founder.

The program has helped rescue dozens of missing persons. "In the past 25 months, we've recovered 57 children and adults," said Friedlander.

The average recovery time using 'A Child is Missing' is about 90 minutes, proving that one simple phone call can make the difference between life and death.

posted at 3:10 P.M. by ashley.harper@walb.com