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May 2014: Honoring National Missing Children’s Day

Dawson M., Alabama

2014 Poster Contest National Winner

On May 21, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice commemorated its 31st annual National Missing Children’s Day with a ceremony to honor individuals who have made a significant contribution to protecting our nation’s missing and exploited children. MECP assisted the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), a component of the U.S. Department of Justice, in planning and coordinating the National Missing Children’s Day Ceremony and National Missing Children’s Day poster contest. This month’s MECP newsletter serves as a tribute to this year’s National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest winner as well as seven awardees from across the country who went above and beyond the call of duty to ensure the safety of our children.

To continue to raise awareness and support for national efforts to prevent child abduction and exploitation, MECP partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Violent Crimes Against Children Section for this month’s 3rd Wednesday at 2 p.m. webinar series. This webinar, entitled Safe Online Surfing, explored the various dynamics of child online exploitation and discussed best practices for parents, teachers and other caregivers in protecting our children through educational programs that promote internet safety.  

MECP has also improved the way that we increase awareness and deliver information and resources to the field. We welcome you to visit our enhanced website for the latest news and resources available for criminal justice practitioners. Please see the website information below for more on the newly implemented features.    

MCD Awardees  

At the 2014 National Missing Children’s Day ceremony, Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West and Administrator for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) Bob Listenbee highlighted the Department’s work, and honored those who have made a vital contribution to the search and recovery of missing and exploited children. Additionally, John Ryan, CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) discussed NCMEC’s dedication to serving children with autism and their efforts in bringing greater awareness to these missing children. This year’s featured speaker included human trafficking survivor, advocate, and author Holly Austin Smith.    

The Department of Justice presented awards to the following individuals for their heroic efforts and dedication to protecting children:    

2014 Internet Crimes Against Children Attorney General’s Award: Sergeant Kevin Murphy, Berkely County Sheriff’s Office, Moncks Corner, South Carolina  

Missing Children’s Law Enforcement Award: Detective Robert Erdely, Indiana County District Attorney’s Office, Indiana, Pennsylvania  

Missing Children’s Citizen Award: Mark and Christa John, Sweet, Idaho, Michael and Mary Young, Sweet, Idaho  

Missing Children’s Child Protection Award: Postal Inspector Brian Bone, United States Postal Inspection Service, Washington, District of Columbia  

2014 Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest Award: Dawson, M., Tanner, Alabama  

(To view the entire poster contest gallery, please visit here)    

More information on this year’s observance may be found here.    

Smiling children3rd Wednesday at 2 p.m. Webinar Series: Safe Online Surfing  

This month’s MECP webinar featured Scott McMillion, Unit Chief in the FBI’s Violent Crimes Against Children Section and Ashley Cabell, Program Analyst for the FBI- Safe Online Surfing program. Mr. McMillion discussed the Violent Crimes Against Children Innocent Images National Initiative and examined current issues in cyberspace and provided internet safety tips to assist parents. Additionally, Ms. Cabell provided an overview of the FBI’s Safe Online Surfing program, a free educational Internet program for children from grades 3rd – 8th, aimed to assist children on recognizing and responding to online dangers.    

To view the recording of this webinar, please visit here.    

MECP Website  

MECP welcomes you to visit our website to check out some of the most recent enhancements in its design!  We have updated our website to include a MECP Blog section for the most up-to-date information on current national efforts, resources and research to support you in your efforts to develop and strengthen your responses to child victimization. We have also improved user accessibility  and how you may communicate with us.  The “Contact Us” area now includes a short form for more seamless communication with MECP and a direct link for training and technical assistance requests and event submissions. As we continue to improve our site, we welcome your feedback on how we can help you prevent and respond to child abduction and exploitation. To view our updated webpage visit here.

Upcoming Events  

June 1-4: 2014 Hope, Healing & Heroes Conference. The National Children’s Alliance will host their 2014 Hope, Healing & Heroes Leadership Conference at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel in Washington, D.C. from Sunday, June 1 through Wednesday, June 4, 2014. Designed specifically for leaders in the Children’s Advocacy Center field, the 2014 Leadership Conference will provide education, networking and advocacy opportunities for directors, administrators, coordinators and board members of Children’s Advocacy Centers, CAC Chapters, multidisciplinary teams, and other child abuse and child welfare professionals. For more information and to register for the 2014 Leadership Conference, visit here. You can also contact the Conference Coordinator, Tom Knapp, by calling (202) 548-0090 ext. 114.    

June 7-10: 2014 National CASA Conference.  Each year, more than 1,200 CASA and guardian ad litem staff, board members, volunteers, judges, attorneys and other child welfare professionals gather to connect with peers and learn from leaders in the field. This year’s conference goals are to build skills and acquire tools that will enhance your ability to speak up for abused and neglected children, expand knowledge and skills while exploring practices to better serve all children in communities and continue the journey towards cultural competency, and increase the ability to sustain and expand CASA/GAL programs. To learn more visit here.    

June 11–14: APSAC’s 22nd Colloquium. The vision of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children is for a world where all maltreated or at-risk children and their families have access to the highest level of professional services and commitment. Our mission is achieved in a number of ways, most notably through expert training and educational activities, policy leadership and collaboration, and consultation that emphasizes theoretically sound, evidence-based principles. For more information, and to register for this colloquium, please click here.

June 16- 18: 5th Annual School Resource Officer Training Conference. The National Criminal Justice Training Center (NCJTC) of Fox Valley Technical College will host the 5th annual School Resource Officer Training Conference in Appleton, Wisconsin. This conference provides law enforcement and school personnel with up-to-date information on various issues impacting the safety of schools and communities today. Conference sessions focus on current trends in addressing school violence through crime prevention and response strategies as well as emerging technologies in law enforcement. To learn more, visit here.    

MECP’s Training Center  

Request Training and Technical Assistance From MECP. MECP offers training and technical assistance tailored to meet the specific needs of State, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies, nonprofit organizations, and other juvenile justice practitioners. For information on how your agency or organization can receive training and technical assistance on missing and exploited children’s issues, please contact MECP at 1–888–347–5610 or [email protected] To submit a request for training and technical assistance, please complete a training and technical assistance form.