Local law enforcement begins a new missing children program

Local law enforcement begins a new missing children program
By: Erica Byfield

PADUCAH, Ky. - When a child goes missing police typically send out an Amber Alert, but now some heartland officers have another tool to use. Plain and simple it's called, "A Child is Missing".

"The way that we found out about this, we hired an officer from Baltimore and they use this" said Captain Ed McManus with the Paducah Police Department.   

According to recent statistics a child is reported missing every 40 seconds in the United States. Therefore, law enforcement leaders are working to get better at finding missing children. McManus said, "It's the same concept of an amber alert but it is not for abducted children, where the amber alert is pretty much solely for that."

Officers with the Paducah Police Department sat in on training about the program. Although it is called "A Child is Missing" it is a tool to locate the elderly, disabled and missing college students.

Here is how the program will work. After an officer confirms a child is missing, central dispatch will call a technician in Florida, where the program is headquartered. That person will take down a brief description and then send out an automated message alerting the public. It can call 1000 homes every 60 seconds.

Another interesting fact is that the technician that sends out the alert message can do it in not only English, but whatever language is predominate in that area. A local parent, Trina Resser, likes the concept. "The more that we can do to bring people back home and to safety I think we need to do anything everything that we can."

Police in Paducah agree this program is a step in the right direction. The program is free and the Paducah Police Department is the second agency in the Kentucky to use it.