The Florida Department of Law Enforcement joins the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, broadcasters, transportation and emergency management officials and law enforcement to commemorate National Missing Children's Day.
In conjunction with the national "Take 25" child safety campaign, parents are urged to take 25 minutes to talk to their children about abduction prevention and protecting themselves online.
"In a digital world, it can be difficult to monitor our children online," said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. "Today take the time to teach your children about safety and make sure you know the people involved in their lives, whether at school or online."
Last year, 40,997 missing child reports were filed in Florida. Florida's Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse, housed at FDLE, provided direct assistance in the recovery of 75 children in2011. Earlier this year, FDLE issued an AMBER Alert for an infant missing from South Florida. The two-week-old infant was the 56 th child to be recovered as the result of Florida's AMBER Alert since the program began in 2000.
Since 1983, the nation has observed May 25 as National Missing Children's Day. On this day in 1979, Etan Patz disappeared from a New York City street on his way to school. His father disseminated black-and-white photographs of Etan in an effort to find him. The massive search focused the nation's attention on the problem of child abduction. Yesterday, the man suspected of killing Etan, Pedro Hernandez, was arrested and will make his first court appearance today.
This year's Florida Missing Children's Day will be held on Monday, Sept. 12 at the Capitol in Tallahassee and will recognize the extraordinary efforts of Florida's law enforcement officers and private citizens in the search and recovery of missing children.
For more information and to see a video message from Florida's Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse Manager Carol Frederick, visit FDLE's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/FDLEpage
Information provided by the FDLE Press Office