First responders train in Navasota for child abduction emergency

By  | 

NAVASOTA, Tex. (KBTX) - Many parents consider it their worst fear; a child being kidnapped. Many law enforcement officers were in Navasota Tuesday to train for that nightmare scenario.

The Brazos Valley Child Abduction Response Team, or BVCART, was training for a child abduction. On foot and on the roads, the streets of Navasota filled with police, first responders, and search and rescue volunteers. They were all tasked with finding a young girl who'd been kidnapped in a mock simulation.

"The scenario is a child at the park, abducted by a stranger and the K-9 component is basically establishing direction of travel," said Matt Young, Search Dog Network Vice President. News 3 followed along as K-9 Sadie tried to track the little girl. His group works with BVCART.

"Worst case scenario, you can eliminate 180 degrees of search based on where the perpetrator or the victim traveled in a particular direction. Towards a neighborhood or towards the woods or whatever it is and that way law enforcement can focus their search in that area," he said.

"Having a resource that is as ready as we are is a very nice benefit for a city that is relatively small. We're ready at a moment's notice and we train like this so that we know each other," he said.

Navasota Police Chief Justin Leeth said they were happy to host the event. During his time with the department they've not had a child abducted.

"We want to work out the kinks and learn the training deficiencies and opportunities for growth and improvement now in a semi-controlled environment," he said.

"Hopefully, our staff looks at this and we can evaluate some training opportunities that we may have internally. You know we can apply a lot that's learned from today on a lot of incidents," he said.

Leeth's officers are preparing for the worst case hoping they never have to experience it.

“If you have an incidence with a child abduction those are very manpower intensive, very time sensitive incidents. They’re very, very low frequency thank God, but very high criticality and so it’s important for us to prepare and train as much in advance as possible so we can be ready for a call that we pray we never get," said Assistant Chief Chuck Fleeger with College Station Police. He's also President of the Amber Alert Network Brazos Valley and Coordinator for BVCART.

More than 70 people participated in the exercise.