New Tool To Locate Missing Persons

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(Ripon, CA)
Monday, July 18, 2005

Founded in 1997, the Florida-based non-profit program is called "A Child Is Missing." But it can be used to make the public aware of anyone who can't be located -- including the elderly or those who've been abducted.

Ripon Police Chief Richard Bull was instrumental in bringing the program to the region. He says the system allows authorities to trigger computer-generated telephone calls with a message that includes a description of the missing person and where they were last seen.

"It will do one thousand phone calls per minute to an area that we specify. So we can do the entire town. We can do a section of the town. We can do a county."

California is among 26 states participating in the program, which is often used in conjunction with "Amber Alerts." Claudia Corrigan, Vice-Present of "A Child Is Missing" in Fort Lauderdale says the number of recoveries has grown significantly over the past few years.

"In the last forty months law enforcement months, law enforcement has credited us with a hundred and five safe recoveries."

"A Child Is Missing" raises over two million dollars a year from private donations and government grants. Backers of the program expect all of California will become part of the system in the near future.