It goes without saying that Missing Children’s Day 2020 is like no other. The current situation with COVID-19 may impact our ability to gather and recognize those who have done so much to protect children, recover the lost and prosecute the predators, but it has not lessened the importance of the day or the work being done by child protection officials across this country.
While many may be limiting their movement or isolating at home, those on the front lines protecting children have not been able to slow down at all. In fact, if anything the threats have increased.
According to our partners at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), they took in 4.1-million reports of child cyber abuse in April, a fourfold increase over April 2019. In March, the center received more than 2-million reports, more than double what it received in March 2019.
Let this be a reminder of the importance of the work that each of you do to protect children and the need to constantly improve the way we respond, investigate and recover the missing and exploited child. We must always be looking for ways to do more, to do better and to bring children safely home to their families. We must make use of the training, resources and tools provided to us by the Department of Justice and our State, local and tribal partners, and share our knowledge and lessons learned.
In the coming weeks our AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program (AATTAP) Regional Liaisons will be convening a series of Regional online meetings between AMBER Program Coordinators, Clearinghouse Managers and CART Coordinators to keep open the lines of communications and collaboration and to make sure that we are supporting those in the field who are working everyday to protect our children.
For more information on the AATTAP regional online meeting being planned for your state/area, please email your regional liaison. You can a link to email your AATTAP Regional Liaison at the bottom of this site’s About AMBER Alert Page.
Please join us in recognizing the 2020 awardees, and remember that the work done on behalf of endangered missing, abducted and exploited children never ceases.