Police Use ‘High Tech’ Tool In Child Search
By Jack Gurner
WATER VALLEY – Police used the high-tech “A Child Is Missing” telephone alert system Saturday to aid in the search for a missing 11-year-old.
Telephone customers in Water Valley began receiving calls early Saturday morning that began with the message, “A Child Is Missing: This is an urgent message from the Water Valley Police Department. We are searching for a Missing Child in your area.”
The alert call also gave the name of the missing child, his age, description and location when last seen. It urged Water Valley residents to “please check your yard, complex and vehicle” and gave the Police Department phone number.
In the meantime, the male juvenile returned home safely after apparently staying with a friend.
Police Chief Mike King said that the system is used in cases where the missing person has no history as a runaway, but doesn’t qualify for programs like the Amber Alert, which has very strict criteria. It is most effective during the crucial first hours of a disappearance, he added.
A Child Is Missing (ACIM) is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 to assist law enforcement in locating missing children, the disabled and the elderly.
This is the second time local authorities have used the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., based service, according to King. In December of 2006, a 15-year-old boy went missing from his home here.
Over one thousand calls went out to the community, which prompted between 75 and 100 calls to the WVPD, according to a story about the incident on the ACIM website. The youth was recovered around 10 a.m. on Dec. 13.
Lt. Rick McCuan reported the following additional law enforcement activity within the Water Valley City limits during the past week:
• Made two arrests for driving under suspension;
• Made an arrest for simple domestic assault;
• Made an arrest for possession of marijuana;
• Took a report of malicious mischief;
• Took a report of simple assault;
• Took a report of telephone profanity;
• Took a report of credit card fraud;
• Issued a citation for disturbing the peace, loud music in a motor vehicle;
• Issued 12 traffic citations.