Gaithersburg Police Go High Tech to Search for Missing Children
Gaithersburg Police Chief Mark P. Sroka has formalized an agreement with the A Child Is Missing Alert (ACIM) Program that has led to a high tech method now in place to search locally for missing children, missing elderly (often with Alzheimer’s), college students, and missing persons who may be mentally or physically challenged or disabled.
Effective May 24, 2012, upon receipt of missing persons calls, the Gaithersburg Police Department will make its first phone call to a toll-free number that rings in Fort Lauderdale, Florida - the national headquarters of the A Child Is Missing Alert Program. The call, answered 24/7/365 by an Information and Mapping Technician, initiates a rapid process of information gathering and use of sophisticated mapping systems. ACIM then launches potentially thousands of calls within minutes with an alert message detailing the missing person’s description, last known whereabouts, and pertinent information. This alert message will also include a Gaithersburg Police Department phone number for use by anyone with information relating to the missing person.
This program is a free service to law enforcement. Gaithersburg Police officials will evaluate each potential activation of the ACIM Program to ensure the application is appropriate to the case and to ensure the system is optimally used. Policies, procedures, and employee training will also guide the most efficient and effective use of this Alert Program.
Phone numbers that are called by this program include listed numbers and mobile numbers available to ACIM in the selected area. Mobile numbers, unlisted numbers, broadband/voice-over IP numbers, or TDD/TTY devices can be added to ensure they, too, are called in the event of an alert. To enter your cell phone, unlisted, broadband/voice-over IP or TDD/TTY device number visit www.achildismissing.org and click on “add your name” to enter your name, number, and address. This information will only be used for emergency message alerts.
A Child Is Missing is a nationwide nonprofit organization that helps law enforcement agencies locate missing children, missing elderly persons (often suffering from Alzheimer’s), college students, and missing persons who are mentally or physically challenged or disabled. ACIM utilizes sophisticated computer mapping systems and trained technicians with the capacity to place 1,000 alert phone calls in one minute to residents and businesses in the area where someone has gone missing. To date the efforts of A Child Is Missing have been credited with more than 920 safe assisted recoveries.