April 1, 2004 at 3:11 p.m.
But, how many people can say they have laid plans to react quickly in the event of a lost or abducted loved one?
Teri Recht is working to make that speedy and comprehensive response available. Through her affiliation with Child Shield USA, a national organization set up to make things happen when somebody goes missing, she is the sole distributor in this region of the organization’s $50 enrollment and materials packet.
Recht , a Harris area resident, said the name Child Shield is somewhat of a misnomer because the data packet she markets isn’t just for children. The “safety kit” would have been useful in the recent incidents of missing college-age victims, for example.
Older people who might walk away from a residential care setting could also be profiled and documented through this system, said Recht.
Predators are organized and prepared. They lay complicated plans and devise scams to create an the opportunity to abduct or otherwise harm youngsters.
Guardians or parents should also be just as prepared, Recht explained.
She described working as an agent for the Child Shield organization as a “satisfying, good thing to do” She likes the idea of helping people to be pro-active in dealing with the potential for this type of tragedy.
Also, any law enforcement agency that might have jurisdiction over a future missing person case gets a valuable jumpstart on notification if the victim is enrolled in Child Shield.
The organization assists in spreading images (1,000 posters are part of the package, shipping overnight or electronic transmittal) and information. Child Shield has a database of missing children organizations, news media and other destinations and works along with national Amber Alert guidelines where needed. Recht said many law enforcement agencies simply don’t have the personnel or funds available to drop everything when a report is filed, distribute posters and videotape and make contacts.
Plus, when a person is registered in the organization there is a $50,000 immediate reward, supported by Child Shield, supporting the recovery of the victim.
The safety packet comes registered to a specific person by a code number that is used to verify a report to the organization to activate the system.
There is step-by-step a list to follow when you are dealing with a missing or abducted loved one. It spells out exactly who to contact and when, and eases the confusion and trauma in reacting to a horrible situation, Recht explained.
Education is a part of the program. Recht said there are on-going informative pieces that will be posted on the website and tips developed by those who investigate these types of cases on how to avoid potential situations or how to prepare children to respond. For young children there’s a lesson plan in the packet on not getting into potential abduction situations.
Recht is speaking to groups and has attended a couple of area expos where she can explain the product and the services connected to enrolling.
She hopes to get together with Parent-Teacher groups in the near future and early this week spoke to the North Branch Rotary Club about Child Shield USA and the issue of missing persons in general.
Child Shield USA was founded in 1990 and developed the regional distribution agent network in 1993.
To contact Recht , a registered agent, you may call 651-674-7944 or visit www.4securechildusa.com.