September 3, 2013
A child will be taken on September 5 and the Utah Child Abduction Response Team (CART) will be asked to respond. The mock child abduction will be a training exercise to help law enforcement officers prepare for the actual challenges that may be encountered during an actual kidnapping.
The Utah CART was created six years ago with experts from state, local and federal law enforcement and other fields to respond immediately when a child is missing or taken. At the request of a law enforcement agency, about 150 CART members will provide expertise in computers, forensics, search and rescue, crime intelligence analysis and other areas involving abducted and endangered children.
The last mock activation was held three years ago to test whether the Utah CART would receive national certification from the U.S. Department of Justice. The Utah CART is now one of 18 teams in the country with national certification.
“If you don’t use your skills then you lose them,” says Utah CART Coordinator Jessica Farnsworth. “CART members are highly skilled and we need to make sure they can respond quickly if this happens in real life. We want parents to know we will do everything possible to help find their child.”
The Utah CART does not know the time and place of the fake abduction. The media will be notified of the activation and will be able to follow along as investigators search neighborhoods and look for clues.
Community members have volunteered to portray the victim, suspect and witnesses. Media representatives should contact Paul Murphy if they are interested in attending a briefing about the best video and picture opportunities during the search.
State CART members from Iowa and Arizona and regional CART members have also been invited to observe the exercise. The Utah CART includes representatives from Cottonwood Heights Police Department, Department of Corrections, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Natural Resources, Department of Public Safety, Department of Technology Services, Draper Police Department, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Granite School Police Department, Murray Police Department, National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, Salt Lake City Airport Police Department, Salt Lake City Police Department, Sandy Police Department, South Jordan Police Department, South Salt Lake Police Department, Summit County Sheriff’s Office, Tooele Police Department, Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake, University of Utah Police Department, U.S. Marshal, Utah Attorney General’s Office, Valley Emergency Communication Center, West Jordan Police Department, West Valley City Police Department.