The Issue: Child abduction

The Local Impact: The McPherson Police Department hopes to respond faster to reports of child abductions through a partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other participating agencies. 

The McPherson Police Department is joining forces with the Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Abduction Rapid Response Team, or JCARD.

The JCARD is a newer concept to the FBI and will be comprised of local and state law enforcement agencies in which the FBI will assist with the coordination. The program has successfully increased the success rate of returning abducted children home unharmed in other jurisdictions.

The department found it necessary to join for two reasons: coordination in advance means agencies can respond faster, which increases chances of positive outcomes, and the department can better use resources together than working separately.

"The added resources from both the FBI and the other member agencies will augment our search and investigative efforts, thus resulting in faster and more efficient recovery of the child, which could save the child’s life," said Sgt. Mark Brinck of the department. "With our involvement in the JCARD Team, we will add to the same benefits other agencies in our region receive, many of which have fewer resources than we have."

Brinck explained that the FBI, their resources and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will be quickly available to them.

Although the department is joining with the FBI JCARD team, there have not been many child abductions in McPherson and there has not been a trend or pattern of child abduction in this area.

“In the last twenty years, we have not had a confirmed child abduction occur in the City of McPherson,” Brinck said.

Brinck said the department has received one child abduction report and several attempted reports, but those turned out to be false reports.

“We respond to and investigated all of these reports as if they were and actual abductions,” he explained.

Bridget Patton, spokesperson of the Kansas City FBI, said that through September, the Kansas City Division extended multiple invitations to law enforcement executives throughout the state of Kansas to attend a briefing in regards to the FBI's CARD team and the formation of the JCARD teams.

The concept is being heavily promoted by the FBI and will provide police departments all over Kansas the necessary training and assistance of the JCARD teams.

Patton said by McPherson joining the FBI JCARD team, members of McPherson law enforcement will gain extensive training on how to investigate child abductions and or disappearances under suspicious circumstances.

Along with Brinck, she explained that the additional resources will allow the McPherson police department to use this extra assistance in serious situations.

Contact Brooke Haas by email at bhaas@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter @ MacSentinel.