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Local, State and Federal Agencies Join Forces to Form Child Abduction Response Teams in the State

Local, state, and federal agencies from most counties in Arkansas will come together at Camp Robinson in North Little Rock from October 27-30, 2015, to become certified Child Abduction Response Teams. 

The 3 ½-day Child Abduction Response Team (CART) training is a multi-disciplinary approach to responding to a missing or abducted child incident. Because team composition is critical to a CART’s implementation and long-term success, teams will include a diverse group of stakeholders who are critical in the successful and rapid recovery of a missing or abducted child. Team participants will include representatives from the Arkansas State Police, local and county law enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, probation and parole, victim advocates, social service agencies, emergency management personnel, school personnel, and other key agencies.

Following three days of intense instruction, teams will participate in an exercise designed to pull together all of the elements of the training they receive and give them the opportunity to practice what they have learned. This will give team members an idea of what to expect when they experience a CART activation once they return home. Fox Valley Technical College, through U.S. Department of Justice funding, will deliver the training.

Additional funding for this important initiative was provided by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge through Standard & Poor’s (S&P) settlement funds that were distributed in 2015 in accordance with Act 763 of 2013. At the direction of Attorney General Rutledge, the Criminal Justice Institute received $100,000 to facilitate the implementation of CART teams throughout the State.

“There is zero time to waste when a child is reported missing or abducted,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “By having fully trained CART teams ready across the State, the process to search for and locate a missing child will move at a much faster rate. CART teams across the country have seen great success in the rapid and safe recovery of missing children, and I am proud to help bring this program to Arkansas.”

To date, there are 21 certified CART teams in the United States.  Following the abduction of Morgan Nick, Arkansas has already successfully formed a CART team in the Fort Smith area. The completion of the CART training by the 11 Arkansas teams will be the first step in obtaining CART certification from the U.S. Department of Justice. Colleen Nick, the mother of Morgan Nick, will also be in attendance.

“CART teams greatly expand the resources that are available when a child is missing or abducted and also ensures rapid deployment of critical resources and personnel. Each CART Team will be uniquely designed based on the community it will serve,” said Dr. Cheryl May, Director of the Criminal Justice Institute. “We are grateful to Attorney General Rutledge for providing our State with the opportunity to implement this incredible program and commend her dedication to the safety of Arkansas’s children.”

For more information, contact:
Beth Green
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas System
Office: (501) 570-8045; bagreen@cji.edu