The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has endorsed a new search network to help high-risk missing children investigations.
Over 40,000 children go missing, run away or are abducted in Canada each year, but less than one per cent of those cases are broadcast to the public using Amber Alerts. Now, The Missing Children Society of Canada’s (MCSC) new Child Search Network provides police with a way to share information and collaborate with each other and the general public to faster find high-risk missing children that don’t meet the Amber Alert criteria.
It uses a database with real-time details from police about missing children cases, including photos and location maps. It provides that information to community members and first responders specific to their location.
“As technology advances, so do opportunities for predators, to reach innocent and vulnerable victims, resulting in an increased number of missing child cases in Canada,” said Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police president, Chief Bryan Larkin during an announcement of the endorsement Thursday morning.
“As a result, we require new resources to support and help our police teams across our country. We need to respond to missing persons reports that they receive daily.”
Amanda Pick, CEO of MCSC said the announcement is critical and a decade in the making.
“Today, Canada’s Child Search Network starts a new journey, starts a journey where in Canada, no missing child will go unseen, every child will have our full protection,” she said.
According to Edmonton Police Service spokeswoman Carolin Maran, the service does not currently use the Child Search Network.
“However, the organization is heading in this direction and is looking forward to learning more in our upcoming meetings with the Missing Children Society of Canada,” she said.
She added the service does not yet have a timeline on when they may begin to use the network.
Canadians can also help with the missing children investigations by downloading the MCSC Rescu app that allows users to receive alerts and share any information they may have on a missing child or youth.