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November 07, 2007

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National Center for Missing Exploited Children Partners with NENA, APCO International, NAED, and the U.S. Department of Justice to Unveil New Policy Guide

Model Policy and Best-Practice Guide for Call-Takers When Handling Calls Pertaining to Missing and Sexually Exploited Children

Alexandria, VA—In a missing child case the first few minutes or hours are critical. The Department of Justice (DOJ) reports that although many missing children are recovered quickly, nearly 800,000 are reported missing each year. The first point of contact for the majority of these worried families will be a Public Safety Telecommunicator.  These communications professionals have the ability to significantly influence investigations and recovery efforts, and potentially save the life of a child.Would you know the best way to respond in this situation? The National Emergency Number Association, http://www.nena.org, (NENA), the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, http://www.apcointl.org, (APCO) International, the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch,  http://www.emergencydispatch.org, (NAED), DOJ’s AMBER Alert Program, http://www.amberalert.gov, and the National Center for Missing  Exploited Children, http://www.missingkids.com, (NCMEC) have announced their alliance in launching a 9-1-1 Communication Center initiative, focused on creating and promoting model practices for effective intake and response to reports of missing children nationwide.

The goals of this initiative are to:

  • Promote awareness of the critical role of the 9-1-1 center in handling calls related to  missing and exploited children.
  • Develop and endorse best practices to include the minimum performance levels, and performance measures for evaluating effectiveness.
  • Develop and disseminate tools to improve their knowledge and skills of public safety communications staff to effectively respond to reports of missing and abducted children.
  • Develop and deliver training for all levels of public safety communications staff to improve their knowledge and ability to effectively respond to reports of missing and abducted children.

Model Practices
A model practices document has been developed titled, Model Policy and Best-Practice Guide for Call-Takers When Handling Calls Pertaining to Missing and Sexually Exploited Children. This document was developed to help 9-1-1 communication centers swiftly recover missing children and protect children from sexual exploitation and further victimization. The goal of the document is to create consistency in the manner in which 9-1-1 communication centers handle cases of missing and exploited children. To obtain a copy of this document please visit www.missingkids.com.

Public safety answering point managers and directors are invited to apply to attend a CEO Overview Course held at the National Headquarters of NCMEC. This two-day seminar provides an orientation on issues related to missing and exploited children cases, including effective policies and practices, technical assistance, training, and available resources. Courses are held approximately every six weeks at no cost.  For more information or an application visit NCMEC’s web site at www.missingkids.com/911.

NCMEC’s Missing  Exploited Children Resources
A new page on NCMEC’s web site located at www.missingkids.com/911 will be designated for 9-1-1 communication centers. NCMEC provides technical assistance, training, and education materials to help 9-1-1 communication centers more effectively respond to reports of missing and abducted children.   

For more information:
Courtney McCarronManager, Marketing and Communications/PublicationsAssociation of Public-Safety Communications Officials International
Phone: (202) 833-9600 E-mail: mccarronc@apco911.org

Keith GriffithsChair, Alliance CommitteeNational Academies of Emergency Dispatch
Phone:  (760) 632-8280 x204 E-mail: kgriffiths@redflashgroup.com

Michelle Moore Administrative Supervisor  National Center for Missing  Exploited Children
Phone: (877) 446-2632 x6291 E-mail: 911@ncmec.org

Sonya Lopez-ClausonNational Emergency Number Association
Phone: (713) 625-9911E-mail: sclauson@911.org

Summer Duncan, Office of Justice Programs, Department of Justice
Phone: (202) 307-0703 E-mail: summer.duncan@usdoj.gov

About the National Center for Missing  Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing  Exploited Children’s® (NCMEC) mission is to help prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation; help find missing children; and assist victims of child abduction and sexual exploitation, their families, and the professionals who serve them. Headquartered outside the nation’s capital in Alexandria, Virginia, NCMEC was created in 1984 as a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization to provide services for families and professionals in the prevention of abducted, endangered, and sexually exploited children. NCMEC is mandated by Congress and works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The comments below are member-generated and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of PoliceOne or its staff.