Teamwork helps find missing child on Fort Leavenworth
March 25, 2010
- Fort Leavenworth military and civilian police credit community involvement for successfully reuniting a missing boy with his family.
FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (March 25, 2010) - Military and civilian police on post credit community involvement for successfully reuniting a missing boy with his family last week.
Fort Leavenworth's Directorate of Emergency Services received a call around 3 p.m. March 18 that a 10-year-old boy had voluntarily left his home on post. Department of the Army Police Chief Aaron Henderson said emergency professionals on post went on alert for the next several hours.
"We essentially called in all of the available resources, including the Fire Department, and began an installation-wide search for the child ... and approximately three and a half hours later, the child was found (near) the stables area and reunited with his family," Henderson said.
Henderson said firefighters were responsible for making contact with the child.
"Firefighters were actually responsible for observing the child, and their quick response got into us," he said. "They got him stopped and notified incident command."
Henderson said DES utilized all military police on duty and initiated a recall of off-duty officers. The Leavenworth Police Department also took part, sending a K-9 unit and officers.
"We had volunteers throughout the community and from some of the housing areas," Henderson said.
Volunteers distributed flyers with the missing child's photograph. Henderson said U.S. Disciplinary Barracks Command Sgt. Maj. Jonathan Godwin and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. John T. Cross II made arrangements to obtain additional support from the Single Soldier Quarters.
"Fortunately, we were able to find the child before Soldiers came out en masse, but that resource was on tap and forthcoming," Henderson said. "They were on the way."
Henderson said although there have been four related calls for missing children in the past six months, the March 18 incident used the greatest amount of time, effort and resources into a search and recovery mission. He thanked members of DES civilian and military staff, as well. Sgt. Derrick Somers was the patrol supervisor who was on scene as the incident commander. Staff Sgt. Alan Conway, Spc. Daniel Gearhart and Nancy Boyer worked on the desk team.
"They did an excellent job of maintaining the logistics effort, tracking, journaling to essentially document the incident," Henderson said. "It was definitely a team effort throughout the entire DES, and the hard work all paid off."
Henderson said DES especially appreciated the help of the Leavenworth Police Department and Army Corrections Command's willingness to help.
"We really appreciate the Army Corrections Command's willingness to step in and provide that kind of assistance on the installation," he said.
Henderson said although the incident was unique, parents on post should take caution while their children play outside. He said parents should always know where their children are playing.
"I think parents feel very secure on the installation, and it is easy when you feel secure to feel less worried, and when you're less worried, kids might end up with more latitude than off post," he said.