Eau Claire County officials train to respond to child abductions

Eau Claire (WQOW) – No parent wants to think about their child going missing, but in the horrible circumstance that does happen, an area team is prepared to bring them home safe.

Members of Eau Claire County law enforcement and community volunteers worked together Thursday to solve a child abduction scenario, as if it were a real case.

"A lot of them come from disciplines where, the reason they’re on this team is because in one way, shape or form, part of their normal, daily task or their normal job has something to do with children," said scenario coordinator, Detective Don Henning, from the Eau Claire Sheriff’s Office.

They make up the the county’s Child Abduction Response Team, or CART.

"I use my experience from past law enforcement to bring it to something like this," said Donn Adams, the scenario’s ‘volunteer coordinator’. "It’s a great cause. It’s something that I think everybody wants to consider doing, or at least something such as this so they can give back to the community and understand what law enforcement has to go through when they’re dealing with this kind of a situation."

A communication base was established, a search crew was rallied, investigators were gathered, even a search dog was on scene. Each part works together to reunite families.

"In a situation where we may not have as many leads, or things are not as contained as this, there’s a lot of moving parts, a lot of different agencies, different people that have to collaborate on the effort to find the child," said Detective Brian Trowbridge, ‘lead investigator’ for the scenario.

CART has thankfully not been need since 2015-2016, but officials say they’re prepared.

"I have two children of my own, and working in investigations now for the last few years, being in law enforcement for the last 15 years, it’s kind of the meat of what we do, and I just have a lot of respect for our community, and it’s just another thing we can do," said Detective Trowbridge.

This is the first year CART has done a scenario like this, but Detective Henning says they plan to do it again, with hopes of expanding their location and tactics.

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