Thursday, December 4, 2008

New Jersey's attorney general has ordered training of the county prosecutors on the states Amber Alerts System

State orders changes in child abduction cases
Courier-Post staff

New Jersey's attorney general has ordered all county prosecutors to designate "child abduction response team leaders" to oversee missing-child cases.

The directive is to take effect on Jan. 1, said Attorney General Anne Milgram.

The team leaders -- two per county -- will receive standardized training for conducting missing child investigations, said Milgram. They will work with the State Police missing persons unit and other law enforcement agencies.

"Time can be lost and opportunities wasted when law enforcement responds to a report of a missing child without a plan," Milgram said. The new program "will ensure that there is a response plan carefully put together by trained law enforcement officers," she added.

Experts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children have begun a weeklong training session for new leaders.

Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton, an early advocate for the team approach, said Milgram's order "will put New Jersey in the forefront of ensuring the safety of our children."

State Police will continue to be immediately notified of Amber Alert requests from local police departments. However, the State Police, in turn, will notify team leaders in the county that submitted the request.

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