Sheriff’s Office Asks Parents to ‘Take 25’

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) wants to remind the public that National Missing Children’s Day is May 25th and encourages parents to “Take 25” on the 25th. Designed to raise awareness of the issues surrounding missing and exploited children, the Take 25 campaign encourages parents, guardians, educators, and others to take 25 minutes to talk to children about safety.

Every year in America an estimated 800,000 children are reported missing, more than 2,000 children each day. Of that number, 200,000 are abducted by family members, and 58,000 are abducted by non-family members. The primary motive for non-family abductions is sexual. Each year 115 children are the victims of the most serious abductions, taken by non-family members and either murdered, held for ransom, or taken with the intent to keep.

The Sheriff’s Office wants parents to know there are things they can do to keep their children safe and it urges parents to take 25 minutes to talk to their children about their safety (see attached tips for parents.)”Children are our communities’ most precious resource; but our children often lack the skills to protect themselves” said Sheriff Mike Haley. “It’s our responsibility, as a community, to protect our children and teach them the skills that can keep them safe.”

An analysis of attempted abduction cases by NCMEC found that in 82% of the cases, children escaped would-be abductors through their own actions, by yelling, kicking, pulling away, running away or attracting attention.

May 25th is the anniversary of the day in 1979 when 6-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from a New York street corner on his way to school and has been observed as National Missing Children’s Day since 1983 when it was first proclaimed by President Ronald Reagan. Etan’s story captivated the nation. His photo, taken by his father, a professional photographer was circulated nationwide and appeared in media across the country and around the world. The powerful image of Etan has come to symbolize the anguish and trauma of thousands of searching families. The search for Etan continues. He is still missing.

Washoe County has two cold cases on two children who were last seen in 1983 and 1987. Anthony Bernard Franko was last seen in 1983 when he was 11 years old, and Jennifer Martin last seen in 1987 at age 11.

Note: Statistical Information provided by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children- The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Since it was established by Congress in 1984, the organization has operated the toll-free 24-hour national missing children’s hotline which has handled more than 3,372,730 calls. It has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 163,330 children. The organization’s CyberTipline has handled more than 1,091,950 reports of child sexual exploitation and its Child Victim Identification Program has reviewed and analyzed more than 49,272,100 pornography images and videos. The organization works in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Justice’s office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit its web site at .

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office celebrates 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 24th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process and traditional street patrols.