LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) – A special team of local law enforcement officers are currently undergoing extensive training. The team’s main focus will be responding to child abduction cases.
The team, which is called JCARD (Joint Child Abduction Rapid Deployment), was established in Lafayette this past Monday.
The team is a joint effort between the local police and sheriff departments as well as surrounding agencies.
There are about a dozen JCARD teams across the nation–three right here in Louisiana.
The teams go through a week-long training to learn the skills and investigative techniques to successfully respond to a child abduction.
“We’re going to be working together with a multi-agency response and we’re going to be working according to a well-defined plan,” said Lafayette Parish Sheriff, Mark Garber.
Law enforcement from up to 60 departments make up the newly-formed team.
Sheriff Garber says the training will allow law enforcement to have a more organized approach.
“Time is of the essence in a child abduction,” said Sheriff Garber. “It is key that we hit the ground running and it is key that we not make mistakes that have been made in the past.”
Although abduction cases have been few and far between, FBI Supervisory Agent, Don Bostic, feels there is a great need for the team.
“There’s a need for this type of team across the nation in every community cause it is such an important aspect of our law enforcement duties,” said Bostic. “There is not necessarily an increased rate of abductions here by any stretch.”
Sheriff Garber says although he hopes to never call out the JCARD team, it’s just better to be safe then sorry and have a plan in place.
“When we do have one, it doesn’t matter how many we have, one is enough,” said Sheriff Garber. “The possibility we know that this happens, we need to be ready as law enforcement to protect the community, that’s what this is about.”
The JCARD team will get their feet wet in a simulation event Thursday that will mirror a real-life abduction case.