Rapid response training in finding missing children
The FBI met with officers from 35 different agencies across Kansas this week in El Dorado for training in child abduction cases.
Butler County Sheriff Kelly Herzet was attending training six months ago in Wichita when he suggested El Dorado be the site of the crucial training program.
“It’s not just a matter of if, but a matter of when it will happen here. We are dedicated and wanted this training,” said Herzet.
The field training exercises took place in and around the area ranging from W. 6th Street south to Central between School Road and Village Road in El Dorado. The investigators were briefed and conducted the investigation concerning a mock child abduction.
The classroom instruction took place at Butler Community College. Techniques taught and deployed included residential canvass searches, field searches, and roadside canvasses. Officers only stopped pre-identified cars during roadside canvasses and only asked to search pre-determined addresses. The scenario was controlled and monitored by the FBI and local law enforcement.
All roles were played by volunteers, many of them from local neighborhoods who were interested in helping law enforcement with preparedness efforts and learning more about investigations.
“We appreciate this training - it has been phenomenal, it's hitting pretty close to home with the incident in Wichita five weeks ago, the incident in Hoisington the other night,” said Sheriff Herzet. “We can’t do it all by ourselves. We appreciate the other agencies and donated man power.”
In cases of missing or abducted children, the FBI wants the public to respond to requests from law enforcement for specific information, such as an Amber Alert that includes specific vehicle information.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Darrin Jones and Sheriff Herzet held a press conference on Wednesday and Jones advised, “What we want is the public to really engage and respond to the Amber Alert.”
Jones also stated that people should be careful about what they post on social media when someone is missing and he asked that any tips be sent directly to law enforcement.
He said, “Putting opinions and putting other things out on social media that may not necessarily be based on fact can derail a bunch of resources and take a lot of things off track.”
According to the FBI nearly 75 percent of children who are murdered after an abduction were killed within three hours of their abduction. Those three hours are crucial and rapid response may save a life.
This week’s training was designed to speed up the investigation while bringing in needed additional resources.
Jones also advised that “Kansas law enforcement agencies are ahead of the curve in adopting the FBI training.”
Agencies participating in the training include:
• FBI Kansas City Division
• Abilene Police Department
• Andover Police Department
• Augusta Police Department
• Butler County Community College
• Butler County Sheriff’s Office
• Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office
• Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office
• Clearwater Police Department
• Coffeyville Police Department
• Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office
• Douglas County Sheriff’s Office
• El Dorado Police Department
• Fort Hays State University Police Department
• Galena Police Department
• Geary County Sheriff’s Office
• Hays Police Department
• Junction City Police Department
• Kansas Bureau of Investigation
• Lawrence Police Department
• McPherson Police Department
• Newton Police Department
• Ottawa Police Department
• Overland Park Police Department
• Prairie Village Police Department
• Reno County Sheriff’s Office
• Riley County Police Department
• Rose Hill Police Department
• Salina Police Department
• Saline County Sheriff’s Office
• Sedan Police Department
• Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office
• Shawnee Police Department
• Topeka Police Department
• Washington County Sherriff’s Office