By: Emily Johnson
November 5, 2013
Wakulla County, FL - The Wakulla County Sheriff's Office hosted a regional Child Abduction Response Team (CART) exercises Monday and Tuesday where a mock child abduction scenario was created.
16 CART agencies from the region set up command posts at the Wakulla Community Center. Tuesday's simulation was all to find the nine-your-old who had been abducted and for the different agencies represented to work together. "Those teams are a joint effort of investigators, search personnel capabilities and assets from the surrounding counties," said Don Ladner, Special Agent In Charge for Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
The mock abduction was also to development the communication between the agencies so for when the emergencies does arise law enforcement will be ready. "A child could go missing anywhere. It brings them all together, lets them work with each other and get to know the other CART team members," said Wakulla County Sheriff.
As the information was gathered throughout the day a mock vehicle was spotted and multiple agency response crews including the K-9 tracking units and a mock helicopter flew overhead. "If we're needed we are ready," said Ronda Sutphen, First Response K-9 Search Team.
The 13 county North Florida CART region has not experienced a child abduction, but the exercise gave the agencies an opportunity to practice coordination efforts in the event of a real abduction.
For parents like Heather Williams of Wakulla County she appreciates the mock simulation. "I think it's wonderful. If my kids went missing I would want them to have everything together and be able to get to my kids as soon as possible."