State collaborates to bring missing children home -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

State collaborates to bring missing children home

April 30, 2008

Albany -- It's every parent's nightmare. "Statistics indicate that if children are abducted, within the first hour nearly half of them will be killed. So we don't have any time to waste," said Dougherty County Police, Captain Jimmy Sexton.

That's a reality that has police officers racing against the clock. "We would immediately put out a Levis call which is the Amber Alert for Georgia. And we would start gathering as much information and resources as we possibly could," said Sexton.

"Fortunately most child abductions are parental abductions. Stranger abductions are very rare, but when they do happen we need to be ready to act immediately," said Georgia Bureau Investigator, Mike Lewis.

To help ensure that quick response, Governor Sonny Perdue signed an executive order to form the Child Abduction Response Team. "What the Governor's program does is combine nine state agencies," said Lewis. 

The G.B.I., Department of Public Safety, Department of Corrections, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Human Resources, The Emergency Management Agency, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Transportation, and Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles will join in a multi-agency effort to rescue an abducted child.

"It's the highest priority. It's a national priority to protect children because they are so vulnerable," said Sexton.

"We know from experience that we have to move quickly and moving in a coordinated response is essential," said Lewis. Coordination that hopefully will help bring more of Georgia's missing children out of harm's way.

Parents will have an opportunity to have their child videotaped at WALB's Kinder vision event. That information could help police if the child disappears.

WALB'S Kinder vision event is set for Saturday May 10th from 10:00 am to 3:00 PM on the grounds of the Flint Riverquarium next to the Imagination Theatre.


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