Weekly Crime Tip From the Desk of Wayne Ivey
By Space Coast Daily // May 27, 2014
44% OF CHILD abductions committed by strangers
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — For law enforcement officers there is no other incident as concerning as the abduction of a child. Investigations of this nature demand every available resource as timely as possible because minutes can be the difference between life and death.
Case studies demonstrate that approximately 44% of child abductions are committed by a complete stranger who takes advantage of an opportunity to commit the abduction. When a child is abducted and killed, 76% are murdered within the first three hours.
Unfortunately, this means that the child may have already met their demise before the parents even realize the child is missing. Another regrettable statistic is that in almost 60% of the cases, the parents waited almost two hours before contacting law enforcement. In most of these cases, the parents were frantically searching familiar areas to determine if the child was truly missing. For these reasons we know that time is truly of the essence, and we encourage parents to contact law enforcement the moment they think something may be wrong.
Parents are passionate in trying to keep our children safe, so please keep the following safety and prevention tips in mind to help keep your children as safe as possible:
• Regardless of where you are, always establish a pre-designated meeting place in case you are separated from your children.
• Never leave a child unattended, even for a minute. All too often we see a child briefly left in a vehicle or waiting for their parents. In a split second your child can be taken so never give the abductor the opportunity. Always make sure they are properly watched by a trusted adult.
• Parents should always be informed on their children’s location and time intervals. Never allow your child to meet friends at an undisclosed locations.
• Always know your child’s friends and their parents. Know the expected travel routes your child uses. Make sure they know not to deviate from the designated route so that you can routinely check up on them and ensure their safety.
• Make sure your children know to never speak to strangers or anyone that offers them a ride. Also make sure to establish a “password” with your child that is required for anyone who attempts to talk with them about you or instructions you have allegedly given for them.
• Encourage your child to travel in groups with other children as not to appear vulnerable. Also, please make sure they know to go straight home when getting off the school bus or when walking home from school or friends. Have them call before they leave a friend’s home or call you as soon as they arrive home.
• Make sure your children understand what areas are unsafe and why.
• If your child has a cellular telephone, please activate the cellular telephone tracking and GPS abilities where only you the parent can view the location. This feature will not only assist law enforcement in the event your child is abducted or missing, but will also aid you in keeping track of their whereabouts.
• Always have a current photograph of your child, a large Q-Tip that contains DNA (this can be obtained by wiping the Q-Tip inside their lip and gum), and fingerprints. We also ask that you take a sock after it was worn by your child and place it in a ziplock style bag. In the event your child is missing our K-9 Team will use the sock as a scent article so our K-9’s have the best advantage to track your child.
• Frequently visit our website or sign up for community alerts to get the most recent information on sex offenders that may live or move into your area.
• Talk to your child about what to yell if a stranger aggressively approaches them. Terms such as “You’re Not My Dad/Mom” or “He/She Is Trying To Hurt Me” are great terms to teach your child in the event someone tries to harm them.
• Make sure your children know their telephone number and address and how to dial 911 if needed.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey has been a law enforcement officer for over three decades. Sheriff Ivey is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has a Bachelor’s Degree from Daytona State College in Management and Supervision. Sheriff Ivey’s background in law enforcement is inclusive of Management, Criminal Investigations, Narcotics, Patrol Services, Public Integrity Investigations, and Corrections.
Prior to being elected in 2012, Sheriff Ivey served the citizens of the State of Florida as a Resident Agent in Charge for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. As a member of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Sheriff Ivey developed and created the country’s first ever statewide Task Force on Identity Theft. That same year the Task Force was named one of the top five most innovative programs in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and investigated approximately 44 million dollars in fraud cases. Additionally, as a member of FDLE, Sheriff Ivey created the Child Abduction Response Team (C.A.R.T) that re-defined the way Child Abduction cases are conducted throughout the country today. The program was later selected as the most innovative program in the country by the International Association of Chiefs of Police and is now used as a nationwide model in the response and investigation of child abductions.
Sheriff Ivey has testified before the United States Congress on law enforcement related matters and has extensive experience in the area of Public Integrity Investigations. Sheriff Ivey was honored as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Special Agent of the Year (1996) and was also recognized by the Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for his Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice. In August of 2011 Sheriff Ivey was honored by the National Organization of Victims Advocacy for his work at the national level as an advocate of victim’s rights and protection.
Sheriff Ivey speaks regularly on topics such as Identity Theft, Crime in America, Human Trafficking, Domestic Violence, and Self Defense through Mental Preparedness. Sheriff Ivey firmly believes that Crime Prevention and Education are vital to reduce our crime rate and protect our community.