Edmonton, AB – Today, May 25, marks International Missing Children’s Day. There are more than 41,000 children reported missing each year in Canada and on Missing Children’s Day Alberta police forces unite to make a difference.
The Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC) created their innovative technology platform – the Search Program, also known as Milk Carton 2.0 – to strengthen the reach of police when they need to instantly engage the public. The Alberta RCMP, along with Lethbridge Police Service and Calgary Police Service is proud to partner with the Missing Children Society of Canada on this new technology. “This new technology is another valuable tool in enlisting the help of all Canadians in keeping our kids safe,” said Cpl. Lea Turner, Alberta RCMP Missing Persons Unit.
Search Program is an emergency response network comprised of three distinct channels of engagement.
1) MCSC’s partnership with MarketWired allows Critical Child Search Alerts to be instantly sent to thousands of media outlets across the country, harnessing the reach of traditional and digital media.
2) The Most Valuable Network™ allows MCSC to notify users via Facebook and Twitter of Amber Alerts and Urgent Missing Child Alerts in their area, effectively creating the world’s first online search party. The Most Valuable Network™ also lets users ‘donate’ their social media feeds so all their friends will be engaged in the search for a missing child as well. In addition, BlackBerry®’s World’s Most Valuable Instant Messaging Application™ allows individuals to connect directly with information about a missing child in their area utilizing BlackBerry®’s cross-platform BBM Channels. The MCSC BBM Channel brings the information to the right people, at the right place at the right time.
3) CodeSearch™ is a rapid response app-based communications and technology platform that engages corporate partners, their employees and resources through geo-targeted push notifications and real-time news feeds.
How can individuals get involved?
1) Join the Most Valuable Network™ at http://mcsc.ca/search-program/most-valuable-network/
2) Download BBM Channels on any smartphone device and join Missing Children Society of Canada, BBM Channel Number C0012598C.
Businesses and organizations can become a CodeSearch™ partner.
Alberta RCMP Missing Children Initiatives
The Alberta RCMP Missing Persons Unit was launched in 2013 and is part of the Serious Crimes Branch. The unit reviews, monitors and assists with Missing Person investigations that are reported to all RCMP jurisdictions in Alberta.
Missing children cases are high risk and are thus high priority. The Missing Persons Unit ensures that policies and best practices are being followed through to the conclusion of the investigation. In missing children investigations, the Missing Persons Unit acts as a liaison between the local detachment and other police agencies, Amber Alert, the National Missing Children Services and non-governmental partners such as the Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Missing Children’s Society of Canada.