FBI statistics indicate that approximately 3,000 children and elderly are reported missing daily nationwide. Beginning in the spring of 2005, the Farmers Branch Police Department began utilizing a new tool designed to assist law enforcement in the recovery of missing children and the elderly. A CHILD IS MISSING, a non-profit organization founded in 1997, with service now available in Texas, is devoted to assisting law enforcement in search and early recovery efforts during the initial hours of a child/elderly person disappearance via a rapid-response notification system utilizing a high-tech telephone program. The assistance is provided at no cost to the Police Department.
How it works
When a person has been reported missing to the Farmers Branch Police Department and the appropriate criteria are met, the Police Department calls A CHILD IS MISSING and provides the pertinent information about the individual such as their description, clothes worn and time and location last seen. The technician at A CHILD IS MISSING pulls up the location given by Police by utilizing a geo-mapping/satellite imagery system. Based on this information, a personalized alert message is recorded and phoned out to the area where the person was last seen. The high-tech system can generate up to 1,000 phone calls in 60 seconds that contain the details needed to help assist the Police Department in finding the missing person.
How you can help
According to A CHILD IS MISSING, the program has a 98 percent listen rate by residents/businesses. The system is capable of leaving a message on an answering machine if someone is not home. Contact the Farmers Branch Police Department if you have any information on the person described in the message. A phone number will be provided in the recording or you can call the Farmers Branch Police Department via 911. A response to this phone call could save a child or elderly persons life.
The message for a missing child is as follows: "A CHILD IS MISSING, An urgent message from the Farmers Branch Police Department." This will be followed by descriptive information on the missing child and a contact number.
The message for an adult elderly person will simply begin with, "This is an urgent message from the Farmers Branch Police Department" followed by the information on the missing elderly person and a contact number for the Farmers Branch Police Department.
For more information, visit www.achildismissing.org.