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WashCo Dispatch Joins Missing Kids Readiness Project

Sheriff's office dispatchers now have new policies to help find missing children as quickly as possible.
WASHINGTON COUNTY, AR - Sheriff's office dispatchers now have new policies to help find missing children as quickly as possible.

The dispatch unit is now certified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, after more than a year of training, and rewriting procedure for the Missing Children Readiness Project.

Dispatch Manager Carla Holcroft says the program teaches dispatchers what questions to ask, as well as what actions to take to maximize the response to a missing kid.

"The first few minutes that you get a call on a missing child or somebody that's abducted, those first few minutes count," she says. "We want to make sure that we follow the best protocol."

The dispatch is now one of just four Arkansas members of the project, and 142 nationwide. Springdale and Fayetteville are also certified with the center, making it easier for agencies to coordinate their investigations.

"This part of the state is prepared for when a child comes missing," Holcroft says. "We all... have the same knowledge."
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