Officials Train in Mock Child Abduction Event

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WALTON HILLS, Ohio — Authorities in seven Cleveland suburbs are making sure they’re prepared in the event of a child abduction.

Saturday, the Southeast Area Law Enforcement Child Abduction Response Team put their skills to the test in an annual mock child abduction. Officers practiced every step in the process, from the initial response of officers to a K9 search and the successful recovery of a child.

“We do this because it’s the right thing to do, it has to be done, and you have to train in it,” said Sgt. Jamey Hofmann of the Solon Police Department. “Missing children cases are probably one of the most important cases you will ever do as a law enforcement officer, and everything involved with it has to constantly be trained and prepared for.”

Sgt. Hofmann said the most difficult obstacle the team faces is the time parents wait to report that their child is missing. On average, parents wait 90 minutes to call authorities while Sgt. Hoffman suggests calling police right away.

The Southeast Area Law Enforcement CART team is comprised of members from Bedford, Bedford Heights, Maple Heights, Garfield Heights, Oakwood, Walton Hills and Solon. On average, the team has 13 activations a year. Sgt. Hofmann said the team has been successful in every call.

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