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Emergency Call Center Program to Protect Children Advances in Numbers

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) added 12 more public-safety answering points (PSAPs) from eight states to its 9-1-1 Call Center Partner Program.

The announcement made at Navigator 2011, sponsored by the National Academies of Emergency Dispatch (NAED) held in April at the Paris Hotel, brings the total number of partners (9-1-1 agencies) to 25 on the state and local levels.

More than 300 dispatchers from these centers have been trained in handling calls for missing and/or sexually exploited children, as outlined in the ANSI-approved standard.

William Hinkle, NCMEC Call Center Program Executive Committee chairman, congratulated the centers for their dedication to defending children.

“They have adopted a principle to safeguard our most precious possessions,” said Hinkle, past president of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and former director of the Hamilton County (Ohio) Department of Communications. “There is nothing more important that we do than protect our children.”

Partners accepted into the program must participate in training programs designed for managers and calltakers/dispatchers and adopt policies and procedures developed by NCMEC in collaboration with the NAED, NENA, and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO).

NCMEC 911 Partners during the first quarter of 2011 are: El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, Woodland Park Police Department, and Fountain Police Department (Colo.); Boca Raton Police/Fire—Rescue 9-1-1 and Tallahassee Police Department (Fla.); Ada County Sheriff’s Office (Idaho); Riverside Department of Public Safety (Mo.); Oxford Police Department (Ohio); Loudon County E911 (Tenn.); Provo City Police/Fire and Valley Emergency Communications Center (Utah); and NORCOM (Washington).

NCMEC, established by Congress in 1984, operates a toll-free 24-hour national missing children’s hotline that has handled more than 2,528,730 calls. For course descriptions, training dates, and more information about the NCMEC 9-1-1 Call Center program, visit www.missingkids.com/911 or e-mail 911@ncmec.org.

More than 1,200 emergency communications professionals attended this year’s Navigator conference held April 20-22 at the Paris in Las Vegas. The NAED is a non-profit standard-setting organization promoting safe and effective emergency dispatch services worldwide. Baltimore, Md., will be the host city for Navigator 2012.

For more information about the NAED, visit www.emergencydispatch.org or call 800-960-6236.

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