CCSD, CVS partnering to make children safer

By Abby Morris-Frye
star staff

  Every year, the worst nightmare of parents all across the country comes true when their child becomes missing, either by running away or by being abducted. The Carter County Sheriff's Department and CVS Pharmacy are partnering up this month to help provide local parents with some vital information in the event this sort of tragedy occurs to them.
  The CCSD and CVS will be offering free fingerprinting and photographing of children at the CVS Pharmacy location on West Elk Avenue on Saturday, Nov. 13, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  "Officers from our agency will be on hand to fingerprint and photograph children and give the information to their parents to keep for their records," states a press release issued by the CCSD. "Officers will also be on hand to answer any questions that parents may have regarding issues dealing with the safety of their children."
  According to information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), in 1999 alone (the last year for which they have data available) an estimated 58,200 children were the victims of non-family abductions, which includes all abductions by strangers, friends or acquaintances. Of those children, approximately 115 were the victims of what is called a "stereotypical kidnapping" which is defined as an abduction perpetrated by a stranger or slight acquaintance involving a child victim who was transported 50 or more miles, detained overnight, held for ransom or with the intent to keep the child permanently, or killed.
  Teenagers, according the NCMEC, are by far the most frequent victims of non-family abductions and stereotypical kidnappings.
  When a child has been abducted, the first few hours are a very critical time and it is vital that parents have the necessary information readily at hand. According to information from the NCMEC, 74 percent of children who are abducted and murdered were killed within three hours of their abduction.
  Elizabeth Carmack, store manager of the CVS Pharmacy on West Elk Avenue, said that the possibility of abduction is one reason that parents should bring their children to the event on Nov. 13. "If anything were to happen, they would have this information on hand," she said.
  Carmack stated that the event is free for the parents and that parents will not need to bring any paperwork with them to have the child fingerprinted. "It's a community service that we do," she said. "The need was here and the Sheriff's Department has volunteered the manpower to do it."