T he Whitehall Police Department has initiated a program to help locate missing people.
Chief Matthew Dickinson has formalized an agreement with the A Child is Missing Alert Program that utilizes technology to help law enforcement agencies locate missing people quicker and more efficiently than traditional methods of searching.
The program will aid the department in the search for locally missing children, the elderly, college students, and missing persons who may be mentally or physically challenged or disabled.
The department can initiate a call to the national headquarters of the A Child is Missing Alert Program in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on any missing persons case.
The call, which is answered at any hour of the day, any day of the year, initiates a rapid process of information gathering.
The program, which makes use of a sophisticated mapping system, launches a massive alert within minutes detailing the missing person’s appearance, last known whereabouts and any other information that may be pertinent.
The alert will also include the contact information of the Whitehall Police Department so that anyone with information regarding the disappearance of a missing person can notify local authorities.
The program has the ability to place 1,000 calls in one minute and can process multiple cases at once.
Using satellite imaging technology, an aerial view of the region is captured, complete with street names, local landmarks, businesses, bus and train stations and other information that allows the technician to determine “hotspots,” where a missing person may be more likely to be found.
The system sends the alert to any listed land or mobile phone line available to A Child is Missing in the area of the disappearance.
Unlisted numbers can added to the programs database by visiting www.achildismissing.org. Your personal contact information will only be used for emergency alerts and will not be given to phone solicitors or any other outside agency.
A Child is Missing (ACIM) is a not for profit organization founded in 1997 because no community based program existed for locating missing children, the disabled and elderly during the first hours of a disappearance, often the most critical period of time in a missing persons case.
The program is provided to law enforcement agencies at no charge.
According to the ACIM website, a child goes missing every 40 seconds in the United States and that figure does not include other people who go missing.
The program has been credited with the safe recovery of 870 missing people across the country including individuals in Albany, Rome, and Burlington, Vt. , to name a few.