News


FDLE Recognizes National Missing Children’s Day    

 
 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) joins the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), broadcasters, transportation officials, emergency management officials and law enforcement today to commemorate National Missing Children’s Day. In conjunction with the national “Take 25” child safety campaign, parents are urged to take 25 minutes to talk to their children about abduction prevention and protecting themselves online. 
 
“With school about to break for the summer, it’s an ideal time to have a family safety discussion” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. “Our children need to have both street smarts and cyber smarts.  As parents, we must know who our children are talking to and interacting with...whether on the playground or online.”

 
In 2010, 39,031 children were reported missing in Florida. Florida’s Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse (MEPIC), housed at FDLE, provided direct assistance in the recovery of 71 children last year.  Earlier this month, FDLE issued an AMBER Alert for a child missing from Northwest Florida.  The one-year-old infant was the 52nd missing child to be located due to a Florida AMBER Alert since the program’s inception in 2002.
 
Since 1983, the nation has observed May 25 as National Missing Children’s Day.  On this day in 1979, Etan Patz disappeared from a New York City street on his way to school. His father, a professional photographer, disseminated black-and-white photographs of Etan in an effort to find him. The massive search and media attention that followed focused the nation’s attention on the problem of child abduction and lack of plans to address it.  Patz has never been found.
 
This year’s Florida Missing Children’s Day will be held on Monday, Sept. 12 at the Capitol in Tallahassee and will recognize the extraordinary efforts of Florida’s law enforcement officers and private citizens in the search and recovery of missing children.
 
FDLE encourages the public to sign up to receive free Amber Alerts and Missing Child Alerts via e-mail or cell phone text message at www.missingchildrenalert.com and to visit www.take25.org for safety tips.
 
For Further Information Contact:
Heather Smith, Kristi Gordon or Keith Kameg
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001                      
 
###