For Immediate Release

February 9, 2018

DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla—An exercise aimed at analyzing law enforcement’s response during a child abduction is complete.

Walton County Sheriff’s Office hosted a C.A.R.T (Child Abduction Response Team) exercise Friday; an event spanning more than eight hours. The scenario was played out from start to finish including a staged child kidnapping, the formation of incident command and the arrest of a suspect.

Ten counties from Northwest Florida participated.

“We cannot afford to fail when the real thing happens,” said Sheriff Michael Adkinson. “That’s why we use these opportunities to learn from our mistakes, see what our strengths are and work to improve.”

The Department of Justice has adopted CART nationwide to respond when children go missing or are abducted. CART is a multi-agency and multi-jurisdiction response team and with a single phone call to any of FDLE’s Regional Operations Centers, local law enforcement agencies have immediate access to experts in child abduction investigations and personnel trained in the incident command system.

CART members participating in today’s exercise include:

  • Experienced and Professional Investigators
  • Crime Intelligence Analysts
  • Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse Coordinator
  • Forensic Experts
  • Search and Rescue Professionals
  • Leads Coordinator
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • Family Liaison
  • Public Information Officer
  • Other support personnel

We appreciate the public’s patience and understanding during the last two days as this exercise took place.