When Your Child is Missing: The First 48 Hours

If your child goes missing, the whole world seems to stop. Getting your kid back safely is the only thing on your mind. Fortunately, it’s also a top priority for the law enforcement officers who have the necessary resources to bring your child back quickly. So, what actually happens after you dial 9-1-1? And what can you proactively do to help law enforcement find your child?

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Parent Savers
When Your Child Is Missing: The First 48 Hours

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Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

[Theme Music]

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: When your child is missing the whole world stops. What you do within those first 48 hours can have a huge impact on helping authorities bring your baby home as quickly and safely as possible. I’m Detective Damian Jackson with the Escondido Police Department’s Family Protection Unit and the San Diego Internet Crimes against Children Task Force. Today we’re breaking out exactly what you should and should not do when you realize your child is missing. This is Parent Savers.

[Theme Music/Intro]

SUNNY GAULT: Welcome to Parent Savers, broadcasting from the birth education center of San Diego. Parent Savers is you’re online on the go support group for parents with infants and toddlers. And I am your guest host Sunny Gault.

Thanks again to all of our loyal listeners who join us every time we release a new episode. And for those of you who continue with our conversations on Facebook and Twitter, all of our virtual panellist out there. We’d love seeing you online. If you want to get even more parent savers content be sure to check out our special club The Parent Savers Club, there’s more information about that on our website.

We also have a parent savers app which is available in the Android, iTunes, what am I missing? Windows applications!So, that way you can listen to parent savers wherever you go. So, Colina, our producer is going to tell you more about our virtual panellist program. Colina

COLINA CAROTHERS: Alright. So, if you like listening to parent savers and you want to get on the conversation but you can’t be here with us in the studio. We do like to hear from you. So, if you want to interact with us, you can do that on Twitter or Facebook. Use the #parentsaversvp. If you have a good question or a little bit of input, we’ll try and get that in on the show

SUNNY GAULT: Alright so let’s meet everyone that joining us here in the studio. I’m Sunny, I’m the host of the show. I’m guest hosting. And I have four children of my own. I have two little boys, ages four and two. And identical twin girls who are just about to turn one. Johner

JOHNER RIEHL: My name is Johner. I’m a dad of three boys. A seven, five, a three year old. I’m a PR guy and former host of parent savers and love helping out with these podcasts wherever I can

SUNNY GAULT: Awesome and Scott?

SCOTT KILIAN: I’m Scott. I’m a father to a four year old boy. I’m a financial planner and love being on the show

SUNNY GAULT: And Colina

COLINA CAROTHERS: Hi. Again, producer for parent savers here I have one son. He’s seventeen months. And this is what I do for fun and I love it.

SUNNY GAULT: Okay. We’re going to take a quick break and we’ll be right back

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: Before we kick off today’s episode, I’d like to introduce you to a special guest. Her name is Kathy Duffy and she is the co-creator of a great new product called the ELPH Band. I actually met Cathy at ABC Kids Expo this last year and she told me about this product and when she did, I knew all of our moms and dads who listen to the shows would really appreciate knowing more about it. So Cathy welcome to parent savers.

KATHY DUFFY: Oh thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. I’m excited to be here

SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely. Well tell us a little bit about the ELPH Band and how it works

KATHY DUFFY: Sure. The ELPH band is actually a safety identification wrist band that reconnects you and your child a little bit faster. ELPH actually stands for Easy Look-Up to Phone Home. It’s a non-toxic durable wristband that provides an easy way for young children, people with disabilities to be able to have a voice.

So in the event they were lost or temporarily separated from you they’d be able to get back in touch with you with the help of a Good Samaritan, store employee or police officer. Our bands, like I said is a silicone wrist band. We don’t put any personal information on the outside of the band for the privacy of the parent and the child.

However if the child is wearing their wristband and they get lost, there are clear instructions directly on the band for Good Samaritans to actually call a 1-800 number or scan a QR code to get in touch with parents or guardians

SUNNY GAULT: Okay. So, let’s assume they went ahead and they called the number on there, is it an automatic, does it automatically dial the parent or how does that work?

KATHY DUFFY: Right. So, if they saw the wrist band and they actually called the 1-800 number, the 1-800 number is going to ask them to plug in the serial code that’s posted directly on your child’s band. So they will plug in the six digit code and it would automatically be connected to the person that was added as the emergency contact

SUNNY GAULT: Okay. And what happens if no one picks up at that number?

KATHY DUFFY: If you’re registering the band, most people register more than one person. So usually it’s the mom, a dad, or mom, grandma and would call the second person on that list from there it would call the third person on the list. So you can have up to three contacts on there. If you don’t pick up the first time, it’s actually going to hang up and try you again, but you’ll also get a text and an email alert that someone’s trying to get in touch with you

SUNNY GAULT: Oh nice. Okay and then what happens if voicemail picks up, does the system know that it’s voicemail as opposed to talking to a real person?

KATHY DUFFY: It does, the same process would happen. It would actually hang up and try you again. But in either situation you are going to be getting a message on your phone saying somebody’s trying to contact you

SUNNY GAULT: Okay. Good to know. How hard is it to get the band on and off. If you have a, I know, like I’m just thinking about my kids like sometimes they’re in the mood to wear something on the wrist, sometimes they’re not, so how does that work?

KATHY DUFFY: We have three different sizes, I can’t guarantee that the kids are going to wear them. I do tell parents that first of all if you have a child that I would say is four, five years old, usually if you can explain how important it is for them to wear the band. Explain the situation that if they were to get separated from mommy and daddy that’s very important that they have this band on.

It will help them get back to their parents. That’s a little bit easier to swallow for an older child. If you have a toddler, we actually recommend that you put the band on the toddler’s ankle. They can’t get that off easily and really they’ll forget that that it’s on their legs

SUNNY GAULT: Now our episode today is about what to do when your child goes missing. So how can the ELPH band help in this type of situation?

KATHY DUFFY: Well the ELPH band will provide identification for your child in the event that they are separated from you. So with each band we send out a children’s story book that was actually written by my son Logan, it’s called Logan the Alter and that’s all got pictures on how to use the band. And our hope is that every parent will use the ELPH as a tool in your safety procedures with their children. And although we can’t be a hundred percent worry free.

This new and innovative wrist band could actually help eliminate stress and teach children safety procedures. So should they get separated from you we’re helping them with this book, every child will know to go find a Good Samaritan or store employee, a police officer and actually point to the band, the child will be returned after to the parent or guardian

SUNNY GAULT: How can our listeners purchase the ELPH band and also just learn more about it?

KATHY DUFFY: They could go ahead and visit our website at www.ELPHband.com that’s E-L-P-H-B-A-N-D dot com

SUNNY GAULT: Okay and what is retail on the ELPH band?

KATHY DUFFY: The band on our website actually goes for $19.99 and that is for a blue or pink band and one year service. So after the one year is up, prior to thirty days before your band is expiring you will receive an email message on the thirtieth day and the fifteenth day before the band expires. Just reminding you that your subscription status is going to be expiring and offering you to extend it for $10 for another year and you’d also get a new band

SUNNY GAULT: And Kathy is offering a special promo code for our listeners. If you go to their website at www.ELPHband.com and you go to the buy a band section you can enter a promo code and it’s mommy M-O-M-M-Y at check out just look for the coupon area and you can receive a $5 discount. So Kathy thank you so much, I love the fact you guys came together you saw a need and you created this product to help new parents. We really appreciate it

KATHY DUFFY: No, thank you. And thank you for having me

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: Alright, today we’re talking about what to do when your child is missing. And I want to say kind of a disclaimer off the top of the show, we’re not trying to scare anybody but this is information that you’ll probably want to know in case something like this happens in your family or just to someone you really care about. Our expert is Detective Damian Jackson with the Escondido Police Department’s Family Protection Unit. Also San Diego Internet Crimes against Children Task Force. So Detective Jackson, thanks for joining us today

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Thank you for having me

SUNNY GAULT: Alright. So as far as children going missing, how many children in the United States go missing you know, looking at this from a yearly perspective. Do you have any stats or numbers on what that looks like?

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: You know the stats and figures vary year by year. I think there’s certainly been an increase as far as missing children in recent times and that’s, I think that’s largely impart to you know just the accessibility that the internet and other means. And, but every day, every day, every day and every jurisdiction, every major metropolitan area, we have children that go missing for a variety of reasons.

One of those be runaways, stranger abductions, family abductions are a pretty big part of that number. Even a kind of introvertently disappearing for a while then lose track of time and don’t realize what’s happening and that throws everybody into a tail spin. But it happens every day and every location and on every, every demographic, every socio-economic scale. Everybody’s affected by it

SUNNY GAULT: We talked about the first forty eight hours as being the most critical, why is that?

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: The first forty eight hours are the most critical because you have that momentum. Outside of forty eight hours you really start to lose that investigative momentum in getting children back safe. Getting that fresh evidence you know before things start to degrade. And really within that first forty eight hours is when people are most affected by and you have the interest to the public in that case.

It’s a new event, it’s you know information that’s kind of happening dynamically and you want to keep people engaged that are part of that search process. If you know friends says if you saw an amber alert and you are on your way in to the studio here today, you would take note of it, maybe you’ll go “oh okay while this amber alert happen and I have to pay attention to this information.

But if ever the same amber alert, you know three days from now, or four days from now it starts to diminish as far as you know how much effort and you know [inaudible] people are going to put in to that, that message and looking for that child. Unless that’s somebody that’s close to them

SUNNY GAULT: Right. We hear a lot and I don’t know if this is the shows that we watch or whatever that if there’s a missing person, you wait twenty four hours, but that is not the case for children, correct?

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: No. Definitely! And I wouldn’t say that’s the case for anybody. You know, when missing adults are in an entirely different entity because you know, once you’re an adult, if you decide you just want to fall off the grid and go away, you’re perfectly well and in the right to do that. Honestly as a kid, not so much.

SUNNY GAULT: Right

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: So, if a child goes missing for any reason or whatsoever, you need to act on it immediately. And I can’t stress that enough. And to me, it doesn’t matter if it’s been five minutes and I can’t find my child. Call the police. Why not? Call them. And you know, I’m a police officer and I’m telling you flat out call the police in the immediate event that your child is missing and you can’t locate them.

Because at the very minimum you’re going to have, two, three officers that are going to show up within a matter of a minute that are going to assist you in looking for that child or starting up a plan or just game the ball rolling and get in that momentum that’s so critical going forward to find that child.

JOHNER RIEHL: I think that’s really interesting because we found ourselves in situations, either us or the parents who are at the crowded park or a birthday party it gets unfamiliar or a theme park and all of a sudden you’re like “I don’t know where the four year old is right now” and you’re sort of looking around and you kind of have a little panic.

I don’t know if you’ve gone through that or if he has got and you sort of panicked. But then it’s weird and I’ve even found myself when it’s happened to us or say others that “oh no it’s fine” they don’t want to ask other people for help. They don’t want tell people because they want to be in control. I don’t want people to think that they can’t take care of their kids.

But you know what you’re saying is call the police. But also I think tell people around you, I can’t, my four year old, I can’t find him, he’s wearing a red shirt or something like that

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Right.

JOHNER RIEHL: Tell other people right

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: That’s a great point, absolutely. Absolutely

SUNNY GAULT: I know that the first six hours are really the most important when you first find that your child is missing. So what would you recommend parents do? Let’s just focus on the first six hours. Obviously, you know, let’s just say we just noticed that our child is missing we decided to call the police. What happens from that point? We’re calling our local police department I’m assuming right?

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Yes

SUNNY GAULT: And then from the police perspective, what happens internally?

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: What I think parents often make the mistake of thinking even thinking about this topic is that everything is going to be heaped on their shoulders you know that when your child goes missing that I have to do everything.

I have to run this entire thing; I have to think of all these checklist. I have to do this and that. And the reality is if, if your child goes missing, you are going to get flooded with resources immediately that are going to assume that search and that follow up and that investigation at every level possible.

And I’ve worked; I’ve worked quite a bit with those teams and train with them that you know. And the FBI has the probably the best team in the world specifically for their CAR team, the child abduction response team. And in that case, in any jurisdiction you’ll have a child that goes missing.

Once you make that call and you pull out that red handle and you initiate those resources, within a matter of a couple of hours you’re going to have a hundred law enforcement officers right there at that location that are going to be farmed out and they’re going to start work on that active investigation and to recover that child

SUNNY GAULT: Physically there

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Physically there, yes

SUNNY GAULT: That is amazing to me. I had no idea

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Well it just goes to show you how, how critical of an issue it is and how important it is to, to get that momentum rolling immediately. You know time is not on your side in that type of case when a child is missing. Because they can, again, it goes back to, they can’t think and process things so they’re automatically added disadvantage in danger when they’re away from their normal environment. So in that case you’re going to have, you know, the moon and the stars show up at your disposal to help get that child back

SUNNY GAULT: You know one thing that I read online, you know for parents that are looking for something to do or you know things not to do is you know if you’re at your house, don’t, you know all that’s kind of considered a potential crime scene. Like don’t move stuff, don’t, what is your advice for parents that are like literally waiting for the police to arrive

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Oh it’s a great point. The, you know, in that case, I always heard people to try to shut down the area as much as possible because you don’t know that. It could be, it could be a crime scene. There could potentially be evidence collected and recovered from your child’s bedroom or the area where they’re playing in. You know treat it like a crime scene because you know the reality is, that could become critical at some point down the road to be able to preserve that area as best as possible as it was when the child was last there

SUNNY GAULT: I know you guys are going to handle everything but for us, you know, I can only imagine what our minds are doing at that time and we’re frantic. But, you know as far as recalling like making a list of people. . . if there are some things like that, some guidance that we can give to parents as far as what would be helpful for you guys once you arrive.

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Yeah obviously the, you know, more information the better. The more you know about your child, the more you know about their friends, the locations that they go to. Kind of their state of being, what are they into, what are they not into, you know, their likes and dislikes. How do they interact with strangers normally you know. Do they, do they, you know flee from people, or are they very skittish when you talk about other people or are they engaging, you know.

During the break, Scott brought up a good point about you know parents that are just so, “oh go give, go give this stranger a hug”, you met this person for the first time and you have known them for ten seconds and now go open and give them a big hug and you know. I’m, I’m against that personally because I think that just trains that child to think that you know any stranger I can go up and immediately make you know that level of physical contact with them. And you know, my personal preference is NO you know.

And it’s you know, even being a police officer people will, you know that we work on this and say “oh [inaudible] give him a big hug” and even then I’m kind of stand-off or still or kind of put up the hand and you know oh high five buddy you know and that’s just, that’s just me.

So I, you know, taking those things into account. But knowing your friends, knowing your child’s friends are, that’s such a huge thing. And it’s so frustrating for us when we respond to the cases of missing child or runaway child where you know we need a starting point. You know, where they are likely to go, who they are likely to be with them. And I can’t tell you how many times we’ve, we’ve handled cases where I’ll talk to parents and say “okay, who are their friends? Who are they hanging with” ahh I don’t know. You know, okay well, give me some of their friends names, you know, let’s start there. “uhmm, you know, I don’t know”. Who’s their best friend? “Yeah, I don’t know”

SUNNY GAULT: Oh my goodness, really

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: And that’s like, you got to help me or you got to, you know. You have got to know your child. You’ve got to know your child’s friends. You have to be involved in their life at that level. You have to help them make those decisions. And you know, so knowing that information, knowing you know what they’re, what kind of sports do they play? What, you know any special needs, medications that help us with the timeline in any kind of medical needs that we have to be aware of. There are just so many things that you, you have to take in to account to follow up and investigate and bring that child back. And having the clearest head possible in those early hours is very key, very critical.

JOHNER RIEHL: We had this case in our area recently reminded me of that where there’s a high school kid and it got to the point where like the local search parties are being organized and like a call went out on Twitter, hey this kid’s missing and they send it out to the little league, and then kids started responding “oh no, he’s at the movies, we just saw him”

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Right

JOHNER RIEHL: ..at this movie theatre

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Yeah

JOHNER RIEHL: The parents just didn’t know or he kind of like trying to get away but the other kids were like “oh yeah, I just saw that kid like”

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Right

JOHNER RIEHL: fifteen minutes ago

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Yeah and that shows you the power of social media in that case too

SUNNY GAULT: Although to play Devil’s Advocate, couldn’t it be kind of a bad thing if you’re putting too much information out there, aren’t you, again maybe I watched too many crime shows. But sometimes, you know, if that’s one of the reasons, you know, they don’t necessarily put everything out on the media, because you’re trying if this really is a crime

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Right

SUNNY GAULT: You’re trying to find information you know about what happened, information only someone that did it would know. And if you’re putting everything out there, again, just to play Devil’s advocate

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Sure

SUNNY GAULT: You know, is there a line you know, again, sharing too much online

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Well there’s certainly is a, in any investigation if you don’t want to give up too much, you know you have to maintain some level of you know advantage over the person that you’re investigating. And so in that case you would limit the information that you would put out.

But you know I, one thing I would stretch too is that in a case like that where you have a child that goes missing and you’ve activated those resources to come out and help is you’re going to have, you’re going to have a law enforcement officer assigned to you personally. That’s going to help manage you and manage the process with you at that time and they’ll walk you through those things. And they’re not going to say, you know, here’s the phone make a statement, you know to the press about what going on.

They’re going to drive that part of it. And they should. And you know as a parent thrust into that situation where your child is missing, as difficult as it is, and I’ve seen it and it’s excruciating for people to go through that. As hard as it is you really do have to have faith in that system and those people that are working for you to get that child back and kind of take a step back and really rely on them and their resources and their expertise dealing with that.

You know, keep in mind that of all those people that show up to help you get your child back, you know ninety five percent of them are parents themselves. So, they’re operating from that same mindset that if my child was missing, you know, what would I put in to it?

What, you know, how far am I willing to go to get that child back and it shouldn’t be surprising that they will go to the ends of the earth to get it done. And you know I tell people on those cases that I cannot guarantee the outcome. I simply cannot guarantee the outcome but I can guarantee the work that’s going to go into getting your child back safely

SUNNY GAULT: Good point. Okay, we’re going to take a quick break and when we come back, we’ll have more tips on what you can do as a parent and the whole process of what happens when your child goes missing

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: Welcome back, today we’re talking about what to do when your child is missing. And we’re talking with Detective Damian Jackson. So, we talked about the first six hours being extremely important as well as the first forty eight hours being important. So, let’s assume we’re pass the six hour mark now. What happens at that point, how do things shift?

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: If a child has been missing for twenty four hours that that elevates things significantly obviously. And you know a number of things are going to go in to play. The best thing that you as a parent can do and anybody involved with that child that had any interaction with them in the preceding twenty four hour time period is to establish as detailed the timeline as possible.

That is really critical because, you know even the smallest detail that you might not think is you know that’s pretty inconsequential, that could be huge. That could be the lead that breaks the case altogether and enables us to get that child back. So sitting down and constructing that timeline as detailed as possible is really important. And as well as getting the input from other people that had interaction with that child because they might, you know obviously they’re going to see things that are little bit different. And that could be the child’s teacher.

You know, how, how were they yesterday when they’re in class? Do they seem normal? Did they act a little bit differently? Did they say anything? Did you, have you heard anything, you know different? Talking to their friends from school as Johner, before about, you know. The friends knowing where they are, what they’re up to.

You know, we had a case in particular recently where a child was communicating with an adult online. And this adult came from an entirely different state, abducted this child from a school and you know took off with the child. We were able to recover the child successfully which was great. But one of the, I think one of the key components in that case was we started talking to that child’s friends at school.

They helped us reconstruct that timeline on what was happening in the hours leading up to that point where he was abducted. Oh we know about this, we know he was talking to someone about such and such. Well he used my friend’s phone to actually text this guy. So that was a huge lead

SUNNY GAULT: Wow

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: That we might not of you know being able to get in that case and so, you know really talking to as many people as possible within that twenty four hour period is going to provide you with volumes of information that you wouldn’t get just from talking to the parent alone.

As we [inaudible] to before a lot of times, you know we’re so busy and we’re caught up in everything going on that you might not pay attention to all those details. You know one hour by hour basis every kids, but you know and the nature of my business and what I do its funny when I leave and I see my kids in the morning I take kind of a personal picture and inventory on what they were wearing before they went to school.

And this is crazy and I hate that you know we’re in a society where you have to think that way. But you almost do, it’s like I have to take a snapshot of what my kids look like and what they’re wearing before they went to school. So in the event I had to you know recall that information, I want to have that. And you know it’s just one of those, one of those steps

SCOTT KILIAN: Detective as you’re talking about this and you know I’m trying to thinking what would I do, what would I do and I can just imagine just the craziness that goes on but this, I keep thinking about this over hushing thing that to just maybe we listen to notice this as parents maybe not but to not be a passive participant in our child’s lives. You know to, because we don’t know what’s going to happen five minutes, ten minutes from now. So to, you know, pay attention to the friends, what, you know what they do, what they don’t do. The places they go

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Absolutely

SCOTT KILIAN: And the more that we know, and the more that we’re involved. It almost seems like that could be a real shot in the arm for us if we had actually used

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Sure

SCOTT KILIAN: These information

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Sure. And just knowing your kids you know I see such a huge disassociation these days with parents and their children as they get older we just, we’re all caught up. We have our faces in you know devices and you know, and I’m guilty of it from time to time as well. And you just kind of get disconnected and every once in a while you just have to put all these stuff aside, sit down and have that conversation with your child. And you know talk about, talk about the things that are going on with their lives.

Talk about their friends. Talk about some of the things that they’re concerned about, what they’re fearful of, you know, what kind of peer pressure they’re going through. Just little things that, you know, it’s funny because we’re talking about, you know abductions and missing children that you could shut all that down so much by just being involved in your kid’s lives so much more. And just talking to them and getting to know them and do those things. And with parents you really have to trust your instincts, you know.

Especially moms! Moms are just so intuitive and you know they can read the situation before it happens. And it really comes down to trusting that good instinct and you know this isn’t a good situation or I don’t, you know, I don’t like that. Act on that, listen to yourself. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right

SUNNY GAULT: That’s one of the biggest parenting lessons I think I have learned you know, is you know and it’s usually not that big of a deal, you know, okay do, you know should I let the baby cry a little bit longer, no, I should really go. But, I’ve learned to like kind of just trust myself and I found more times than not that instincts are good to have

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Absolutely

SUNNY GAULT: It’s good to act on them

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Absolutely. Predators are looking for easy targets. You know, it’s kind of the, you know the slowest goat or you know the slowest goat gets tagged by the cheetah you know. So, if your kids are always walking around and they have their head down and you know they see someone near, they kind of you know, look away and they don’t give off that air of just being confident and engaging, you know. That’s going to present them as a, as a more probable target for a predator. So you know I encourage my kids, hey, you know, be assertive. When somebody does something for you, you know look them in the eye and say thank you. Thank you very much, you know, things like, little things like that

SUNNY GAULT: Alright. I think that’s great. So thanks so much Detective Jackson for joining us today. For more information on what to do when your child is missing or if you want to learn more about Detective Jackson visit our website at www.newmommymedia.com This conversation continues for members of our parent savers club. And our bonus content, Detective Jackson will share some things that you can do at home to help police just in case something happens to your child. For more information about the parent savers club, visit the member’s portion of our website

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: So we have a question form one of our listeners. This comes from Leslie of Massachusetts, and I thought it was appropriate since Detective Jackson is in the studio today to have him answer it. So, Leslie says: One of our neighbours recently gave us a flyer telling us about a sex offender who moved into a house a couple of streets away. I have a three year old son and a new born little girl and I’m completely uncomfortable with the situation. Is there anything that can be done peacefully to keep him away from our kids. So, Detective Jackson, what do you say to that?

DETECTIVE DAMIAN JACKSON: Well it’s a good question and I get that quite a bit, you know, every, every jurisdiction has sex offenders, registered sex offenders that are living among them. And I would assume in this case with, they mentioned, the flyer that there was probably a photo of this person as well. You know there are different types of sex registrants. Some of them are called post and no-post.

Some of the, you know if you are a post and then I mean is that your information including your photos posted are accessible publicly. And in the case of you’re a non-post then that wouldn’t be the case. I would assume it’s, you know it’s a post in this case where the flyer has the person’s photo. And in that case it’s you know, knowledge is power and you have, you have that person’s photograph so you automatically know, you know, who you don’t want to be around.

And you know I’m pretty, full disclosure as well with my kids on that and if I knew that there’s a specific sex offender that was living close enough to my home, I would flat out probably show my kids that photo and say, if you ever see this person don’t go near them. At the same time you don’t want to, you know don’t want to smear a campaign on that person and you know do anything that’s going to bring you in legal hot water because it certainly can, you know.

That information exists to make people aware, and that’s a great thing. But it also, you know there have been cases in the past and we deal with them from time to time where you know these registered sex offenders do get sought out and targeted and singled out by people because of their offender status. And in that case you know, you can run the risk of becoming culpable and being liable for that level of harassment. And you know and in violating the law if you’re specifically targeting that person and you’re going outside, you know normal behaviour to kind of make their life miserable.

You know I would submit any parent that you know, them being on that registry is a pretty miserable thing as it is. And I’m not advocating you know befriending anybody or you know anything on that way. It is what it is. But you just want to make sure, you know have that information, be smart about it and you know, protect your family.

Don’t put yourself or your kids in any kind or risk where they’re going to be in association with that person. And they just, you know go about your normal life, you know. The mere fact that they are posted and they are registrant it really takes the wind out of their cells to a degree where they’re going to try to stay out of the public eye, you know. And I can say that with some assurance because I deal with those people, you know, from time to time. And of course on my work and you know they want to remain anonymous as best they can.

So, you know they’re not, you don’t have to worry about him lurking around your bushes. I don’t think and you know you wake up in the morning and this registered sex offenders in your backyard. You know, that you have the flyer from a couple of streets away. So, you know, be aware, you know, be smart about it. And you know I certainly would encourage Leslie not to alter her lifestyle or alter the way she interacts with her children or other people around her

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SUNNY GAULT: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to Parent Savers.
Don’t forget to check out our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed and
• Twin Talks for parents of multiple kids.

This is Parent Savers empowering new parents.

[Disclaimer]
This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

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