By Steve Pomper
The year, 2020, is kicking our butts as a nation, especially with some politicians who are determined to make it as difficult as possible, while others try to return our nation to some semblance of normality. Through it all, America’s law enforcement officers keep doing what they do: helping to keep Americans safe.
When people ask cops, what are the worst calls, they will tell you those that involve kids. When I was still on the job, my department participated in the Teddy Bear Program similar to this one in Kentucky.
This effort worked to supply patrol cars with stuffed animals for officers to give to children at traffic collisions, violent incidents, and other traumatic events. I had the pleasure of mentoring a high school student whose senior project was to collect teddy bears and provide them to police departments.
So, whenever I’m skimming through a website, newspaper, or magazine, I pause when I come across a police story involving kids, even older kids who need much more than a teddy bear. That was the case when I read a recent story by Michael Wing at The Epoch Times. He reported on the Michigan State Police having recently rescued 25 missing children. These were at-risk youths reported missing in the Detroit area.
In a mission named, “Operation MISafeKid II”, the state troopers “successfully located the missing children in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties. The units used “names, backgrounds, photos, and last-known-locations” to find and rescue the kids. Though many of these kids’ hearts have become calloused by adult neglect and abuse, we can hope the fact someone was looking for them, in this case cops, lets them know someone cared, and it shows they are valued.
During the successful operation the officers found 25 kids who’d been reported missing. Officials made certain they returned children to their homes or to safe alternatives. One particularly sad case involved a “9-year-old runaway from foster care and two teenage girls whom troopers suspected of being victims of sex trafficking.”
Investigators will follow up on those cases, hoping to arrest and then prosecute the predators involved in the trafficking. This is an example of excellent police work and is just one in many law enforcement efforts to locate missing and exploited children in the United States.
In another report at The Epoch Times, this one by Jack Phillips, he reported the United States Marshals Service is also doing what it can to inhibit criminal efforts to sex traffic and otherwise exploit missing children. “The U.S. Marshals Service confirmed Friday that more than 1,300 missing children have been rescued since the 2016 fiscal year.”
The director of the USMS, Donald Washington, speaking to FOX News, said most of these kids were involved in situations rife with drugs and violence. He also cited the kids being victimized by drug abusers, gangs, or other violent people.
Washington said there is no shortage of kids that need rescuing. He said, “For example, today I looked at the number, and we have 21,000 active missing persons under 18 cases open today. So, there are a lot of them.”
Yet, deputy marshals and other law enforcement continue to search. The Marshals have conducted recent operations, such as one called, “Operation Not Forgotten,” that have recovered “dozens of missing or endangered children.” The U.S. Marshals Service is rescuing kids all across the U.S., including in New Orleans, Nashville, Ohio, Oklahoma City, Indianapolis, and Georgia. Over 100 children were recovered in these operations.
The U.S. Marshals are well-known for their ability to find people. They not only scour communities across the country looking for violent fugitives but also to rescue our nation’s missing children.
The USMS would like the public to inform them about federal fugitives which you can report by phone at (504) 589-6872, by email at email@example.com, or you can use the USMS tips app. To report missing or exploited children, call your local police or sheriff’s department or contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-The-Lost.