According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, a child goes missing in the United States every 37 seconds. Since 2002, the Amber Alert system has been credited with helping to safely recover hundreds of children across the country.
When the Brazos Valley Child Abduction Response Team (BVCART) participates in a Department of Justice-sponsored certification process on Sept. 21-22, it could become only the 14th certified child abduction response team in the nation. This proactive training will help BVCART personnel follow nationally-recognized standards and best practices in its response efforts.
BVCART members already have dedicated about 2,500 individual training hours to become more proficient and better equipped to deal with these horrific cases. BVCART’s membership has evolved to include more than 90 people representing law enforcement, private sector and volunteer agencies from all seven counties that comprise the Brazos Valley. In addition to law enforcement, these groups are responsible for search and rescue, communications, victim advocacy, volunteer coordination, and analytical and technical support.
BVCART is a program of the Amber Alert Network Brazos Valley (AANBV) and was formed in early 2010 as a regional law enforcement resource that is activated when an abducted or endangered missing child is reported. More than 20 local law enforcement agencies signed an agreement to create this special team.
The AANBV is a state-recognized non-profit entity dedicated to child protection issues and education. Formed in 2003 as a cooperative effort among Brazos Valley law enforcement agencies, emergency management resources and local media, the AANBV’s mission is to reduce the time required to get vital information to the public in the immediate area of a reported abduction. The AANBV is intended to be a local resource used in conjunction with the statewide Amber Alert Network, which was established through the Governor’s office and is administered by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Much work remains to be done, and the significant training our local team receives helps provide us with the tools we need to keep children safe in the Brazos Valley.
Lt. Chuck Fleeger
College Station Police Department