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Child Abduction Response Team preps for launch

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Posted at 5:39 PM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-01 08:51:23-05

OSHKOSH, Wis.-  Local law enforcement is taking a new approach in those critical moments after a child goes missing.  Every year more than 1.3 million kids disappear and now Winnebago County is implementing more proactive measures to save kids who've been taken from their families.

The new program is called CART or Child Abduction Response Team and the purpose is to find kids faster.

"Fifty percent of the time that before that child is reporter to police that they have been abducted the child is dead," explained Captain Dave Mack with the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department.
 
According to the Department of Justice, 75 percent of kids taken by strangers are killed within the first three hours, making response time critical.
 
"They really could be up and running within an hour," said Town of Menasha Public Information Officer, Jason Weber.
 
Winnebago County is leading the effort for other counties across the state.  They're working collectively with public and private sector employers, like schools, fire departments and the Department of Corrections.
 
"If we can pool all these resources together from the onset, we can be just much, much more quicker," said Weber.
 
The idea for the CART program started in 2013, but it's taken the past 3 years to get up and running.
 
"There really isn't a template for an agency to do that so we really are creating this so to speak from scratch," said Capt. Mack.
 
Also county leaders had to organize all 17 different agencies and more than 100 people, which took time to do. 
 
The CART team will be running a full scale training in April and they hope to launch the program officially by the end of 2016.