"A Child is Missing" Program

A Child is Missing website

Press Release

The Acushnet Police Department has adopted the "A Child is Missing" program. This program allows a central agency to send out 1,000 phone calls to area residents and businesses in the event that a child, an elderly person (suffering from Alzheimer's), a mentally challenged person or a disabled person becomes missing.

Here is a brief description of how the program works. Once the Acushnet Police decide that they have a missing person that meets the criteria of the program, they gather information on that person and call the central agency. The agency then calls out to businesses and residents in the area where the person is likely to be located. The call recipients can then keep an eye out for this person and if they choose can even check their yards and neighborhood for this person. If located, the Acushnet Police should be called immediately and they will respond to the scene.

A National Organization
A Child Is Missing, Inc.
500 SE 17 Street, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316
Phone: 954-763-1288, Fax: 954-763-456

What We Do
Assist law enforcement in the search and early recovery of missing children, the elderly (often with Alzheimer's), and the disabled in the first hours of their disappearance.

How We Do It
A Child Is Missing Alert (ACIM) program uses a high technology telephone alert system to canvas a neighborhood with personalized phone messages, describing the missing person and asking anyone with leads to call the police (at the local number given). Computer mapping and satellite imagery help determine the calling area. ACIM alert program can place 1,000 calls in 60 seconds. ACIM technicians are on call 24/7, 365. The alert calls are placed within 15 minutes after having received a call from the police asking for assistance. To date 6,600 requests for assistance have been received, resulting in nearly 7 million alert phone calls placed.

Why We Do It
Everyday nearly 3,000 children and elderly are reported missing. A program was needed to notify a community that a child was missing and last seen in their neighborhood. Because of the need, A Child Is Missing Alert (ACIM) program was founded in 1997.

What Does it Cost?
The program is FREE to law enforcement. The program is funded by federal and state grants, corporate and private donations and fundraising activities.

What States are Currently Participants?
The program was founded in Florida in 1997 and has expanded to Rhode Island, Alaska, Ohio, Georgia, Nevada, Indiana, Oklahoma, Michigan, West Virginia, Alabama and parts of California.

Other Uses for this Program
The most common use of this program is to help find a missing child, elderly (often with Alzheimer's) and the disabled. However, the program can also be used in the same way to locate a parent or guardian of a found individual that may be injured, unconscious, or disabled and unable to communicate adequately. The program is also used to notify neighborhoods that a Sexual Offender/Predator is living within a designated radius of their residence. State law requirements vary.

Is this Program the Same as the Amber Alert?
A Child Is Missing Alert can be activated within 15 minutes from receiving a call from law enforcement. ACIM is used to find any missing person: children up to 18 years, elderly that are disabled or suffering from Alzheimer's, injured or unconscious. The Amber Alert is designed to aid in the search of abducted children (younger than 18) when it is presumed that their life is in danger.

Every 40 seconds a child is reported missing in the U.S.

1,000 telephone alert calls placed in 60 seconds can help save a life.

Since 1997, A Child Is Missing has been providing law enforcement with its first responder program. ACIM's rapid response telephone system alerts residents in a targeted area about a missing child, elderly person (suffering from Alzeimer's), and mentally challenged or disabled individual. This program is serving the states of Florida, Rhode Island, Alaska, Ohio, Georgia, Nevada, Indiana, Oklahoma, Michigan, Alabama and West Virginia. ACIM continues its expansion throughout the United States.

The A Child Is Missing program is given to law enforcement at no cost. Financial support is obtained through state and federal funding, grants, fundraisers, sponsors and optional donations from law enforcement.

Only law enforcement can activate the program.

It works like this: An officer calls A Child Is Missing, operating 24/7-365, providing pertinent information about the missing person, including description, clothes worn, and time/place last seen.

An ACIM technician records an individual alert message, which is phoned out to the area where the child was last seen. With its high-tech telephone, A Child Is Missing can place up to 1,000 calls in 60 seconds. There is a 98 percent listen rate by residents or businesses answering phones. Call recipients are asked to call police with any information they have about the missing person.

Since 1997, A Child Is Missing has received more than 7,000 calls for assistance from law enforcement and has placed over 7 million alert calls to residents.

A Child Is Missing works in concert with Amber Alert and all child safety programs.

ACIM is the only program of its kind in the country.

The ACIM program should not be confused with the Amber Alert, which is designed for stranger abductions, geographically removed from area of disappearance.

ACIM has very few restrictions and can be activated by one simple phone call.

Law enforcement needs no special equipment or personnel to activate ACIM.

In the past 31 (9/13/2004) months, law enforcement has credited ACIM with 63 successful recoveries. The case follow-up sheets have documented this. The average recovery time has been 1-1/2 hours from placing alert calls.

ACIM stands ready 24/7, 365 days to assist law enforcement agencies large and small, in the search/early recovery prodedure.

Click here --- to view A Child Is Missing Web Site!