When a child is missing, minutes can matter.
Now members of law enforcement and other agencies in Winnebago County are forming a group to help find children faster.
When an Amber Alert is issued, they will be the first to respond.
"Basically it is all hands on deck when it comes to a missing child," said Town of Menasha Police Department Officer Jason Weber.
Fourteen people representing various law enforcement and other area agencies will form a Child Abduction Response Team in Winnebago County. Members were trained by the Justice Department last week. Statistics show their services could prove valuable.
The Justice Department says there are about 100 child abduction response teams in the country. But every year about 1.3 million children are reported missing. Since June, Amber Alerts have helped recover 653 children.
"All of those statistics really lead into why it is critical to have a good initial response,” said Weber.
Jay Breyer runs Mission: Home, a missing persons organization in Grand Chute. He says the first 24 hours for an abduction used to be the most critical time. But now, he says there may be even less time than that.
"If you don't recover an abducted child within an hour, things change quickly. We are highly mobile and because of new technologies, the Internet and things like that."
Members say the team's goal is to reach the scene of an abduction and setup a command post within an hour. Winnebago County District Attorney Christian Gossett says the teamwork will pay off when it counts most.
"Instead of getting everybody together to talk about how to find a child, everybody will already know, everybody will have their job, they'll know what their role is and they can instantly start doing their part."
To bring the missing home safe.
The team will start in Winnebago County, but may be able to help other jurisdictions in the future. Weber says they hope to begin operations by May of 2014.
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