Advocate’s Telephone Web Helps Police Search For Missing People
Fort Lauderdale’s Sherry Friedlander, aged 65, organized the nonprofit A Child is Missing in 1997 to address the need for a quick response in finding missing children.
Using her own money and donated equipment, the agency is able to make 1,000 telephone calls a minute via state-of-the-art software to alert area residents about missing persons who were last seen in their vicinity, immediately upon the request of law enforcement.
In the past 22 months, Friedlander’s seven paid employees and a few volunteers have helped in recovering 49 people, handling about 40 cases–approximately 28,000 phone calls–per week.
A Child is Missing is available 24/7 to law enforcement in Florida, Ohio, Rhode Island, Alaska, and Georgia, but the goal is to expand it to all 50 states.
The system is also used to notify residents if a convicted sexual predator has moved nearby.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (12/28/03) P. 1B; O’Boye, Shannon .