Florida Missing Children’s Day Ceremony

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
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Press Release: Communications Office, Governor Rick Scott

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott joined Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey and hundreds of law enforcement personnel, public officials and citizens for the 2013 Florida Missing Children’s Day ceremony in Tallahassee. The annual event is an opportunity to remember Florida’s missing children, recognize the state’s efforts in child protection and educate Floridians on child safety and abduction prevention.

Governor Rick Scott said, “Today we join Floridians in remembering all of the missing children of our state. We come together with their families to grieve, pray and offer our comfort and support. It’s important that we never forget our state’s most innocent victims and work to ensure that every child reported missing has a safe return.”

First Lady Scott said, “As a mother and grandmother, I know personally that we must do everything possible to protect our children. I appreciate the dedication of the multiple Florida law enforcement agencies who work to maintain the safety of Florida’s children, and ensure a safe return when a child goes missing.”

“Those of us who are parents understand that the loved ones of missing children will never stop loving them, and law enforcement will not stop searching for them,” said FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey.

During 2012, approximately 41,000 incidents of missing children were reported to Florida law enforcement agencies. Since its inception statewide, AMBER Alerts have directly aided in the rescue of 53 children.

This past weekend, the Florida Outdoor Advertising Association and its member advertising companies donated billboard space as part of an ongoing effort to feature missing children and adults. Lamar Advertising, Premium Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor and CBS Outdoor featured 28 missing children and adults on digital billboards throughout the state.

At the event, children participated in a safety presentation on abduction prevention. During a formal ceremony, Governor Scott and Commissioner Bailey recognized citizens, canine trailing teams and law enforcement officers for their exemplary efforts in missing children investigations.

The following individuals are recipients of the 2013 Florida Missing Children’s Day Awards:

Young Hero Award Winner – A’Nari Taylor– Miami, Fla.

Local Law Enforcement Officer of the Year – Lieutenant Jonathan Shaw – Margate Police Department

State Law Enforcement Officer of the Year – Trooper Mauricio Vasconcelos – Florida Highway Patrol

Combatting Human Sex Trafficking Award-Narcotics Bureau, Organized Crime Section, Miami-Dade Police Department

Law Enforcement Task Force/Team of the Year – Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Juvenile Services Section

The Jimmy Ryce Trailing Team of the Year – Dorn Beddow and K-9 Gracie Bell, Southwest Florida K-9 Search Unit

Essay Contest Winner – Victoria Zimmerman, Davie, Fla.

Department of Justice Poster Contest Recognition – Nacis Lapaix, Orlando, Fla.

FDLE invites the public to sign up to receive Missing Child Alerts and AMBER Alerts via email or text message by visiting www.missingchildrenalert.com. To view photos of missing children, visit www.fdle.state.fl.us. For more information about the Florida Missing Children’s Day Foundation, visit www.fmcdf.org.

Press Release: FDLE

On Monday, Sept. 9, 2013 the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse Advisory Board will host the 15th annual Florida Missing Children’s Day in Tallahassee.

The event will be hosted by Commissioner Gerald Bailey and Gov. Rick Scott. The formal ceremony will take place on the courtyard between the old Capitol and new Capitol at 10 a.m. A child safety fair will begin at 9 a.m. in the plaza area of the Capitol. Children will have the opportunity to be fingerprinted and receive child safety literature. The media and public are invited to attend.

Florida Missing Children’s Day is held each year to recognize missing children, to educate citizens on safety awareness, and to honor individuals in our state who have made a difference in the life of a child. Families of missing persons will travel to Tallahassee to attend the ceremony and honor the memory of their loved ones.

During the formal ceremony, awards will be given to individuals in the following categories: Local Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, State Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, Combatting Human Sex Trafficking Award, Law Enforcement Task Force or Team of the Year, Jimmy Ryce Trailing Team of the Year and the recognition of the Department of Justice poster contest statewide winner and the statewide fifth grade essay contest winner.

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