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CodeRED emergency notification unites a community to find missing boy and his dog

A family crisis this past Sunday triggered a community to band together to reunite a missing boy and his dog with their family. On a recent evening, a seven-year-old child ventured too far from his home to take his dog Bombi for a walk. Once his mother discovered they were missing, she called police and local law enforcement stepped in to locate the missing child. Because the boy had special needs, officials released a CodeRED emergency notification geo-targeting the immediate area where the child might be located, and the neighborhood jumped into action.

Less than two hours after the boy and Bombi went missing, an officer located the two wandering near a bus garage. According to the Craig Daily Press report, the officer was able to work with the boy’s uncle to help get him home safely, as strangers easily frightened him.

The family was quickly reunited thanks to the combined efforts of local law enforcement, the CodeRED alerting system, and the community members it serves. Unfortunately, not all cases end this way and the ability to communicate quickly and effectively during the first few hours of a missing children’s case is critical; it only takes a moment to turn a wandering child into an abduction situation.

ABC News reported that according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, roughly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States.  That amounts to roughly 2,000 children every day.

In a recent article written by Alan Hammond, a law enforcement official in Lexington, Kentucky, he outlines that the critical steps parents should take as soon as they discover their child has been abducted. Accurate and timely communication between the parents, law enforcement, friends and family within the first 24-hours is the key to a safe resolution.

Within the first 0 to 24-hours, law enforcement should:
  1. Ensure a detailed description of the child from the parents is received, including clothing, physical appearance, unique identifiable traits, recent photographs and the location they were last seen.
  2. Enter the child’s information into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Persons File, while requesting a targeted emergency notification system alert, like CodeRED to be issued to the immediate area.
  3. Instruct the parents to forbid anyone from entering their home, or disturb the crime scene until law enforcement arrives to investigate for any clues or signs of abduction.
  4. Provide the lead investigating officer’s direct contact information to the parents and close relatives to call with any information that can help in the child’s recovery.
  5. Have the parents construct a list of all family, friends and even acquaintances that might have had contact with the child recently.
  6. If you are an approved CodeRED Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS) Amber Alert user, prepare to release an emergency notification to the surrounding area if it is suspected the child is in immediate danger and did not run away.