DPS Supports national, state child protection efforts
Law enforcement administrators with the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) encourage residents to participate in "Take 25," a national campaign focusing on child safety. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) public awareness program urges parents, guardians, educators and other caretakers to take 25 minutes to talk to their children about safety and ways to prevent abduction.
"Take 25" was created in commemoration of Missing Children's Day observed each year on May 25. For more information on NCMEC and the program, visit www.take25.org.
"When a child goes missing, they become significantly more vulnerable to being exploited or harmed by predators, sex traffickers or other criminals," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "Identifying, recovering and rescuing endangered children is a chief priority for DPS, and we recommend Texans 'Take 25' minutes to teach children about possible dangers and ways to stay safe."
DPS is committed to protecting Texas children and supports that goal by:
• Using the DPS Sex Offender Registry and enforcing sex offender compliance.
• Posting information on the Missing Persons Clearinghouse website.
• Activating Amber Alerts throughout the state when a child goes missing.
• Providing assistance to local, state and federal law enforcement partners in investigations related to missing, exploited, abducted or trafficked children through the Texas Crimes Against Children Center.
• Training troopers and other officers through the Interdiction for the Protection of Children (IPC) program about indicators that may help them determine if a child is in danger during standard traffic stops.
• Speaking to children about how to recognize and avoid dangers in their community.
On average, more than 45,000 children up to age 17 are reported missing in Texas each year, and at any given time, there are more than 4,000 active cases, according to records from the DPS Missing Persons Clearinghouse. Many missing children are recovered safely.
As a result of IPC training, DPS can account for the recovery of 117 children and has initiated more than 30 criminal investigations since 2010. Since the program's inception, DPS has provided the IPC training to approximately 7,600 officers in Texas, nationally and internationally.
First recognized in 1983, National Missing Children's Day is an annual reminder that there are thousands of children who are still missing. May 25 is the anniversary of the day in 1979 when 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared on his way to school in New York.
Visit the DPS Missing Persons Clearinghouse at www.txdps.state.tx.us/IntelligenceCounterterrorism/mpch.htm.
Search the Texas Sex Offender Registry at https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/SexOffender/.
See DPS' "Assessing the Threat of Human Trafficking in Texas" at http://www.dps.texas.gov/director_staff/media_and_communications/2014/txHumanTraffickingAssessment.pdf.