News


Missing Children's Day ceremony

9/8/2014
 

NEWS RELEASE

First Lady Ann Scott and FDLE Host Florida Missing Children’s Day Ceremony

 

For Immediate Release

September 8, 2014

 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –First Lady Ann Scott joined Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey and hundreds of law enforcement personnel, public officials and citizens for the 2014 Florida Missing Children’s Day ceremony in Tallahassee today. The annual event is an opportunity to remember Florida’s missing children, recognize the state’s efforts in child protection and educate Floridians on child safety and abduction prevention.
Governor Rick Scott said, “We must do everything possible to protect our children.  Today is about remembering our state’s most innocent victims as we continue to work hard to ensure every child reported missing comes home safely.”
First Lady Scott said, “Today we come together to remember, grieve, and support the families of missing children.  I appreciate the dedication of Florida law enforcement agencies who work to maintain the safety of Florida’s children, and ensure a safe return when a child goes missing.”
Attorney General Pam Bondi said, "Today we remembered Florida's missing children and honored the law enforcement officers who work tirelessly to protect our children."
FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey said, “Our children are never forgotten.  Just as their parents always love them, law enforcement will not stop searching for them.”
During 2013, more than 35,000 missing children cases were reported to Florida law enforcement agencies.  Since their inception statewide, AMBER Alerts and Missing Child Alerts have directly aided in the rescue of 76 children.
This past weekend, the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association and its member advertising companies donated billboard space as part of an ongoing effort to feature missing children and adults. Lamar Advertising, Premium Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS Outdoor featured 28 missing children and adults on digital billboards throughout the state.
At the event children participated in a safety presentation on abduction prevention. During a formal ceremony, Commissioner Bailey recognized citizens, canine trailing teams and law enforcement officers for their exemplary efforts in missing children investigations.

The following individuals received a 2014 Florida Missing Children’s Day Award:
  • Local Law Enforcement Officer of the Year – Detective Jason Platt, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Special Victims/Missing Persons Unit
  • State Law Enforcement Officer of the Year – Officer Joshua Edenfield,  Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Law Enforcement Task Force/Team of the Year – Lt. Kurt Romanosky and Team, Tampa Bay Human Trafficking Task Force (Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Clearwater Police Department, Department of Homeland Security)
  • Law Enforcement Task Force/Team of the Year – Special Agent William Williger, Guy Kirby, Todd Greene, Jen Zinge, Joseph Burns, Officer Maria Pita
  • Combatting Human Sex Trafficking Award – Detective James McBride, Clearwater Police Department
  • The Jimmy Ryce Trailing Team of the Year – K-9 Bo and Officer Jack Ryan Clifton, Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office
  • Citizen of the Year - Ms. Fawn Domingue, Grosse Tete, La.
  • School Bus Operator of the Year – Ms. Daisy Robinson, Escambia County
  • Statewide Essay Contest Winner – Mia Guarnaccia, Parkway Christian School
  • Department of Justice Poster Contest Recognition – Amber Nguyen, St. Petersburg Christian School
  • Evelyn Williams Memorial Award – Mr. Charlie Hood, Florida Department of Education
  • Commissioner’s Award – Mr. Al Danna, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
  • John and Reve Walsh Award – Special Agent in Charge Donna Uzzell, Florida Department of Law Enforcement
FDLE invites the public to sign up to receive Missing Child Alerts and AMBER Alerts via email or text message by visiting www.missingchildrenalert.com. To view photos of missing children, visit www.fdle.state.fl.us. For more information about the Florida Missing Children’s Day Foundation, visit www.fmcdf.org.

For Further Information Contact:
Gretl Plessinger, Samantha Andrews or Steve Arthur
FDLE Office of Public Information
(850) 410-7001