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Law enforcers learn how to better protect children

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

February 10, 2009

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - In Georgia, there are 16,000 registered sex offenders. And everyday thousands of children are reported missing.

It's a scary pair of statistics. That's why today in Thomasville more than 50 law enforcers, attorneys and other community leaders came together for an all-day training seminar on how to keep our children out of harm's way.

More than 2100 children are reported missing everyday. And today in Thomasville, more than 50 law enforcers from all over Southwest Georgia came together to learn how to lower that statistic.

"It's not just for law enforcement officers we've got district attorney's that are present, people from the school systems, counselors," said Rachelle Denmark, Criminal Justice Program Coordinator with Southwest Georgia Technical College.

This is the first time the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children brought their training program to Georgia.

And attendees not only learned how to better do their jobs. Many of them walked away with a lesson on parenting.

And you can too. Here's just a few tips on how you can make your kids safer.

1) Choose baby sitters with care. Obtain references from family, friends, or neighbors and if you can... drop in unexpectedly to see how your children are doing.

2) When it comes to internet access...place your family computer in a common area, not in a child's bedroom. And monitor their time online.

3) Also tell your kids never to post revealing information or inappropriate photos of themselves online.

4) Talk to your kids about safety to and from school. They should know never to accept a ride from anyone without your permission.

5) Teach your children that if anyone tries to grab them, they should make a scene and make every effort to get away by kicking and screaming.

"It's very important that parents know its very important to sit down with your kids and talk to them. Because children will remember what you say," said Craig Hill with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

"Parents need to know they need to be involved. They need to ask questions. Communication is key. Your children need to be comfortable coming to you," said Denmark.

And finally, know who the sex offenders are in your area and find out where they live. It's knowledge that can only help prevent your child from becoming a statistic. Feedback

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