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Child Abduction Response Team In Mobile Area
In Spanish Fort, Al (Wala), A special training exercise with local law enforcement agencies simulating a child abduction was prepared by the FBI.
One of the exercises followed the following process: First a helicopter takes to the air, law enforcement agents set up a command post and then officers take to the streets of the Bay Branch Estates subdivision in Daphne, in a simulated child abduction case.
This exercise was for a newly formed group of area law enforcement officers called the Mobile Joint Child Abduction Rapid Response team (JCARD) – the fourth response team of its kind in the U.S.
FBI agents say that national JCARD teams came to Mobile twice in the past few years.
FBI Supervisory Special Agent Chad Yarbrough mentioned: “One was obviously the Hiawayi Robinson case, the second was the Brewton investigation involving Brooke Bridges, and, so, we’ve learned so much through those deployments and realize that having a local team to respond in a much quicker manner, we’ll be able to respond in that way.”
In this simulated case, a 10-year-old girl was reported abducted and enforcement agents and others played various roles, including public information officers and motorists who had to drive through the neighborhood. In the area, business owners and neighbors also volunteered to help with the exercise.
Christy Wheeler was one of the participants who took part in the exercise and believes the training is valuable.
Wheeler said, “Child abduction is a scary thing for anybody who is a parent or has a grandchild, and I’ve been both so it’s important to me.”
FBI officials hope that exercises like this one will save lives.