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CARTs Across the State Come Together for A Mock Child Abduction Exercise

Through a collaboration between the Criminal Justice Institute (CJI), the Arkansas State Police (ASP), the Arkansas Governor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office, as well as other state, local, and federal partners, Arkansas is positioned to become the first state in the country to have statewide certified Child Abduction Response Teams (CARTs), ensuring that all children in Arkansas are protected if abducted, missing, or endangered. Certification of CARTs nationally is provided through the U.S. Department of Justice, Amber Alert and Technical Assistance Program.

CARTs are multi-agency multi-disciplinary teams (state, local, and federal law enforcement and related agencies) that are pre-organized and practiced to respond when a child is abducted, missing, or endangered. Because of prior coordinated planning and identified resources, substantial time is saved and the likelihood of the successful recovery of an abducted child is increased. Twelve CARTs have been formed across Arkansas for rapid response when a child is missing, endangered or abducted.

On March 12 and March 13, 2019, all twelve CARTs will be participating in a mock EXERCISE and CART assessment at the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Training Center located at 213B Hwy 89 South in Mayflower. Six CARTs will be evaluated on March 12, beginning at 12:30 pm, with the additional six CARTs being assessed on March 13, beginning at 12:30 pm. This is only an EXERCISE!

Participants will take part in a practical exercise built around a realistic scenario involving a missing, abducted or endangered child, working through initial deployment response, investigation, recovery and reunification procedures utilizing appropriate resources.

CART participants will include representatives from the Arkansas State Police, local and county law enforcement, community correction, victim advocates, emergency management personnel, school personnel, and other key agencies. Evaluators from the Amber Alert Program will monitor CART team response.

This will be the last step in the CART certification process. Prior to this evaluation, CARTs needed to meet all training requirements, have standard operating procedures, and signed local CART agreements. To maintain certification, there are annual meeting and training requirements. The Arkansas CART Executive Board will oversee the policies and operating procedures of all CARTs in the State. CJI will coordinate the CART recertification and Arkansas CART Executive Board activities.