Should police treat missing child reports with more urgency?
Police need new tools and policies to deal with reports of missing children, Gazette guest columnist Lori Handrahan wrote Saturday.
“America now produces half of the world’s child porn,” Handrahan wrote. “The volume, with a new demand for livestreaming, requires a constant and voluminous supply of children. Most parents remain blissfully ignorant until their own child has been targeted.
“Child trafficking is America’s fastest growing crime, expanding 150 percent per year. … The child porn industry is estimated to yield profits as high as $20 billion per year and is rapidly overtaking drugs as the preferred moneymaker by organized crime syndicates. Handrahan wrote. “Children are being trafficked in staggering numbers for use in America’s child porn industry.”
Handrahan referenced the cases of Des Moines paperboy Johnny Gosch and the disappearance of Lyric Cook and Elizabeth Collins in Evansdale in her column. “When Johnny Gosch was taken, Iowa police had a less-than-stellar response,” she said. “Noreen worked to change the law. She argued: “The police don’t wait 72 hours to go after a bank robber, why would they wait to go after child abductors?” Police practice, however, hasn’t always measured up to the new law.
“Police must be given internal support to develop new policing practices that engage parents and people who are dedicating their lives to fighting child trafficking. We must set in motion a plan of action to win the war against the child porn industry that is trafficking too many American children.”
What do you think? Do police need new tools to deal with reports of missing children? Should those reports be treated with even more urgency?