Friday, October 1, 2010
Four years after the Jodi Sanderholm case, Arkansas City Police and other local agencies are looking at ways to better prepare themselves for similar situations. Friday's drill all started the same way, with an abduction phone call.
It is a call no law enforcement agency wants to hear, the report of an abducted child.
Friday, that missing child was Amanda Davis, a 14-year-old girl, forced into a van by a 40-year-old man. Davis left behind her backpack on the middle school lawn.
"These things are going to happen, so we had to be prepared to respond, so that we can get into that critical window and save lives," said Sean Wallace, Chief of Police, Arkansas City.
Members of the Child Abduction Response Team, or CART, did just that, treating Friday's drill as if it were really unfolding in front of their eyes.
"When you have an incident like this, there's chaos. There's chaos. So, you have to have a structure in place and procedures in place and you have to train on this," said Vic Branden, Assistant Attorney General.
Within the first two hours of Amanda's disappearance, CART members via helicopter had located the van, while CART members on the ground searched a local lake, finding Amanda in the woods nearby.
In the meantime, the search continued for Amanda's abductor.
Once he was spotted, the K9 Unit and CART members took him down, protecting an innocent child, and putting another abductor behind bars.
"This is a safety issue for your entire community, your state, and I think you should be very proud of your local officials," said Floy Turner, Office of Justice Programs.
The Cowley County CART team will now be the first in Kansas, and only the tenth team nationwide.