The Columbus Police Department recently formed a Child Abduction Response Team (CART) after several officers completed a specialized course focusing on child abductions.
Eighteen CPD uniform officers and detectives completed the two-day course which stressed the importance of quickly determining what tasks need to be completed and what additional resources are needed in the event of a child abduction.
The training that the officers received was coordinated by CPD Sergeants Matt Martindale and Courtney Plummer and consisted of both presentations and scenarios.
CPD would like to expand the training later this year to include additional officers from CPD as well as neighboring law enforcement agencies, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.
“Child abductions can occur in any community, regardless of its size. Time is critical in solving these cases, and we cannot miss a chance to bring a child home as quickly as possible. To that end, the Columbus Police Department is developing a comprehensive Child Abduction Response Plan which will ensure we are taking all of the correct steps and leaving as little as possible to chance. Those officers who volunteered to attend this recent training are integral to that plan, and have gone above and beyond to prepare themselves so not a minute is lost. While we hope the need never arises to put this plan in motion, we believe our officers are equipped with the skills to safely bring an abducted child home,” Martindale said.
Harris said CART training provides information about when and how to add additional resources when searching for an abduction, whether it be a custodial or stranger situation.
The training includes how to expedite getting resources into place as “time is of the essence,” in these situations, Harris said.