Faces of the AMBER Alert Network: Louisiana
LOUISIANA AMBER ALERT COORDINATOR SETS HIGH GOALS TO FIND ABDUCTED CHILDREN
Stacey Pearson has been with the Louisiana State Police for 18 years and works out of Lafayette. She has been the manager of the Louisiana Clearinghouse for Missing and Exploited Children (LACMEC) since 2012 and the state AMBER Alert Coordinator since January 2015.
Pearson is a third generation law enforcement officer, and has served as a uniform trooper, narcotics agent, and criminal investigator. She was also the supervisor on a task force investigating the deaths of the “Jeff Davis 8,” the unsolved murders of eight women in Jefferson Davis Parish.
Pearson conducts and coordinates crimes against children investigations and works as a police composite sketch artist. In 2016, she founded The Pelican Project, a charitable foundation working with families of missing, abducted and exploited children who are in need of reunification assistance.
HOW HAVE YOUR CAREER AND LIFE EXPERIENCES, INCLUDING YOUR WORK AS AN AMBER ALERT COORDINATOR AND CLEARINGHOUSE MANAGER, STRENGTHENED YOUR COMMITMENT TO HELPING ENDANGERED, MISSING AND ABDUCTED CHILDREN?
My work on the Jeff Davis 8 case and my duties as Clearinghouse Manager and AMBER Alert Coordinator are instrumental in my commitment to help children. It is my goal to continue to develop and provide training in Louisiana and nationally to move this good work forward.
WHAT IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR AMBER ALERT AND CLEARINGHOUSE PROGRAM, AND WHAT DO YOU THINK HELPS MAKE YOUR PROGRAMS SUCCESSFUL?
Our Clearinghouse and AMBER Alert programs are not unique; however, we do strive to provide any and all assistance needed to law enforcement agencies conducting missing child/person investigations. Through a vast network of contacts, the LACMEC and the Louisiana Fusion Center are able to communicate and coordinate the response to critical missing children as well as child trafficking investigations.
WHAT IS YOUR VISION AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE HAPPEN WITH YOUR AMBER ALERT AND CLEARINGHOUSE PROGRAMS IN THE FUTURE?
My vision for the future is to have a website dedicated to the LACMEC and the Louisiana AMBER Alert programs with photographs of missing children available to the public for viewing, searching and sharing. I would also like to provide links to National Center
for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) training resources on this website as well as safety tips. I also have a goal to create a Louisiana Missing Persons Day.
PLEASE SHARE DETAILS ABOUT YOUR MOST MEMORABLE SUCCESS STORY IN WORKING A MISSING CHILD CASE.
Two cases stand out the most:
- An alleged California sex offender and a woman were found in Louisiana with four missing children, ages four, six, seven and eight. The suspects were arrested at a convenience store and the children were found inside his car dirty and hungry. The couple fled California to help prevent the man from being arrested for sexual acts involving a minor.
- A couple from Shreveport, Louisiana, were arrested in Arizona after allegedly abducting two boys, ages seven and two. The couple allegedly committed a bank robbery after they took the children.
Sometimes our “successes” on the surface are in reality very tragic. The elation that is felt when a child is recovered can quickly be replaced with anger, grief and disgust at the circumstances the children were taken; how they lived and the circumstances they were rescued from. The reality that no one person can “fix” the situation takes its toll. There is no magic wand.