The Tacoma Police Department is seeking certification of its Child Abduction Response Team through the Department of Justice and Fox Valley Technical College CART Certification Program. If certified, the department will become the 20th agency in the country to obtain certification and the only agency certified at this point in the state of Washington.
“CART certification consists of meeting 47 standards of identified best practices and an on-site assessment of a mock abduction exercise,” said Lieutenant Robert Jepson. “The department’s CART is a multidisciplinary team comprised of individuals who have had training and experience related to the investigation of child abductions.”
Since 1961, there have been 16 children abducted in Tacoma. The CART program identifies best practices, better leverages resources, provides guidance through training, and allows for a more efficiently managed investigation.
On Sept. 11 and 12, CART assessors will be on-site to review the department’s policies and procedures.
On Sept. 12, from 6 a.m. - 4 p.m., they will conduct an assessment of the department’s mock child abduction exercise involving more than 130 police and civilian personnel. More than 25 law enforcement representatives from across Washington state will observe the exercise.
“During the exercise, CART will respond to investigate a report of an abducted child,” said Jepson. “This proactive drill is meant to simulate a terrifying and emotionally draining scenario for anyone involved and make our response as real as possible.”