Weatherford Democrat

May 26, 2013

DPS spotlights child protection efforts


Weatherford Democrat

— AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety is encouraging residents to participate in “Take 25,” a national campaign focusing on child safety.

This National Center for Missing and Exploited Children public awareness program urges parents, guardians, educators and other caretakers to take 25 minutes to talk to their children aboåut 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.

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.

• Training troopers and other officers through the Interdiction for the Protection of Children 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.

Texas records from the DPS Missing Persons Clearinghouse show more than 4,400 active cases of missing children, up to 17 years of age. Many missing children are recovered safely.

As a result of IPC training, DPS has made 26 criminal arrests and recovered 78 missing or exploited children since 2010. Since the program’s inception, DPS has provided the IPC training to approximately 5,300 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/.