Attention to details

So, A Child is Missing can place 1,000 calls in 60 seconds, process multiple cases simultaneously and work without jurisdictional boundaries. But, just how can it pull off such a feat?

It’s mostly in the details.A Child is Missing

First, there is the call to law enforcement to report a missing child, often autistic, or elderly, often with Alzheimer’s, or disabled person. That’s the first call everyone makes. The law enforcement agency then calls ACIM toll-free and the alert program goes to work on behalf of the victim.

A long list of pertinent information about the victim and the case is collected. Some of that information includes:

*Name of the law enforcement agency and city, county and state where it’s located;

*Name, birthdate, gender, nationality, height and weight of the missing person; and

*ACIM also obtains hair and eye color and a clothing description for basic alert purposes.

But A Child is Missing digs deeper because any detail could break a case and return home a loved one.

*Any scars, physical characteristics, or medical and psychological conditions to be aware of;

*Home address, including zip code, and location last seen with zip code if different than the residence; and

*Police department phone number for the public to call and report information. The goal, though, of ACIM is not just assisting the victim but also to aid law enforcement in the recovery of someone’s missing loved one;

*Case number or reference number assigned to the case and if there is water or wooded areas in the vicinity;

*Have friends and family been contacted? Has the person gone missing before? Is foul play, kidnapping or parental abduction suspected?

*If the missing person is a child, is the agency aware of any sexual predators within one mile of the last seen address?

A Child Is Missing also requests cell phone or beeper numbers to reach officers on the scene for additional information that will lead to a swift successful recovery.

From all these details, ACIM makes a recorded message and the location where the missing person was last seen is entered into a database of phone numbers of area residents and businesses that have been gathered. The message is then sent out to the community within a half-mile radius.

When any person is reported missing near water, urgency is heightened. The immediate area is canvassed with the message and the search area is expanded if the person has not been found. ACIM doesn’t quit after messages have been sent. It continues to work
with officers on the scene and/or the communications department until the missing person is found. It doesn’t stop until law enforcement stops.

After recovery, the agency calls ACIM to stop the search. ACIM then sends a case follow-up form to the officer/agency to document the conclusion of the case. The agency returns the form to ACIM for assistance in obtaining funding to continue offering services to law enforcement.

A Child is Missing doesn’t rest on accomplishments. A missing loved one can never be found too swiftly.

To donate, log on to: www.achildismissing.org/donate.asp

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WATCHING OUT FOR EVERYONE

Don’t let the name mislead you. A Child is Missing is not just about finding lost children. It’s much more.A Senior is Missing

Every missing person of any age is someone’s loved one. Every missing person touches someone’s life. That’s why A Child is Missing also has alert programs for the elderly and the disabled. We can probably all relate to cases in which elderly adults can be as innocent and helpless as a young child, and sometimes with the same mental or physical capacities.

We’ve all likely encountered two of the most dreaded afflictions of the elderly: Alzheimer’s and dementia. Maybe even directly in our own families. We’ve probably seen strong, independent adults lose battles with these diseases that attack their mental capacities, including their cherished memories and ability to communicate effectively.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, six in 10 people with some form of dementia are prone to wandering. Their primary “destinations” are home or work, often times to where they lived and worked when they were younger. Those “homes” or “places of work” may even be several states away.

They are also capable of becoming disoriented in seemingly familiar places, even as familiar as their current homes. To compound the problem, because dementia attacks the memory capacities, these adults may not remember their current address or even their names. Identification obviously then becomes one of the biggest obstacles of recovery. Worse yet, they may wander into the vicinity of a body of water.

In one success story from California, an alert from a mechanic at his place of business saved a 73-year-old elderly woman. The lady suffering from Alzheimer’s had gone missing the evening before and was found about five miles from her home. In this case, ACIM sent nearly 1,200 telephone alerts to the area to aid the search.

ACIM will also come to the aid of people who have become disabled, including people who have been beaten, are unconscious or who are suffering from memory loss. There may be other circumstances where A Child is Missing will become involved so if you think you need assistance, just pick up the telephone.

In any case, ACIM will come to the aid if requested by law enforcement. It’s important to remember that A Child is Missing is not an investigative service. Instead, it works with law enforcement to escalate awareness through its program alerts. The program alerts act as direct line Amber alerts.Name logo

We would all agree, no one should go missing. While no one wants to hear of a missing child, no one wants to get the call that their parents or grandparents have also gone missing. In many ways, an elderly person with diminished mental capacities is no different than a child. They are equally as vulnerable. They are equally as innocent. They are equally as scared. They can be equally as lost.

A Child is Missing makes no distinction between innocent victims. If you’re missing, we want you found!

To donate, log on to: www.achildismissing.org/donate.asp

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HOW IT BEGAN

Every 40 Seconds

An alarming thought

This all began with a splash.

This wasn’t the “making a splash” anyone wants when they arrive on the scene, especially if you’re a parent.

Back in 1996, in Sunrise, Florida, a 4-year-old child had gone missing. No one wants a child to be missing, whether from a small neighborhood or from a large apartment complex, as in this case. No matter the scene, everyone wants to help. Three police officers came to the scene to begin the search for the missing child. Imagine searching a complex with 500 apartments in a time before smartphones, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Oh yeah, and time is obviously of the essence.

As the lieutenant quickly realized while trying to cover all that ground, they could not contact all these people at any efficient rate of speed. What did they do? They did it the old fashion way: door to door, losing precious time the whole way.

Unfortunately, this real-life incident didn’t end well. The child’s body was found the next day in the lake in the middle of the apartment complex. The following Saturday morning two ladies in different apartments had remembered hearing a splash in the lake but thought nothing about it until they were contacted later that day. It wasn’t their fault. Who thinks anything is out of the ordinary when they hear water splashing in Florida.

Unfortunately, this was not an exclusive report. These searches have become all too common.

Sherry Friedlander, the founder of A Child is Missing, found out too late that the rescue effort of this child lacked a computerized effort to centralize and mobilize the search. Sherry vowed not to stand by helpless. She had two high-speed computers of her own collecting dust. With the help of a friend in the military, she now had a mission: Find missing children.Name logo

From those two computers, Sherry has launched a nation-wide program assisting search teams find our most precious gifts, our children. ACIM can launch 1,000 alert calls in just 60 seconds via telephone and cell phone. If there is someone out there who uses faxes or pagers, ACIM accommodates. Imagine how that could have changed the outcome in Sunrise back in 1996.

Law enforcement has bought in. After all, the sole mission is to find the missing and any help is welcomed. Like on Facebook; follow on Twitter; watch on YouTube. ACIM is even still on MySpace. Find ACIM wherever is convenient for you to help the mission.

A child goes missing every 40 seconds in this country. Wouldn’t you want A Child is Missing on your side if it’s your son or daughter we’re looking for? A child missing is a horrible happening. No matter if you are the mother, father, relative, a community member or a law enforcement officer. Everyone is touched and affected for the rest of their lives. ACIM is making a difference. Check us out online and see for yourself!

To donate, log on to: www.achildismissing.org/donate.asp

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