Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Governor Perdue Signs Executive Order Forming Georgia’s Child Abduction Response Team

Today Governor Sonny Perdue signed an executive order to form the Child Abduction Response Team (CART).

“This executive order will ensure a quick, deliberate response for missing and endangered children. The Child Abduction Response Team will guarantee the rapid collaboration of each agency and ensure disciplined recovery efforts,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “The safety and security of all of our children remains a top priority for Georgia.”

The executive order addresses the time sensitive nature of child abduction cases by establishing a pre-planned response coordinated across various state agencies. Through CART, nine state agencies have formed a partnership, including the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA), pulling together resources to aid in the search and rescue effort. Each agency will report to the GBI under supervision of Director Vernon M. Keenan.

“An immediate and organized response by state and local officials is imperative to the safe recovery of Georgia’s children,” said GBI Director Vernon Keenan. “The Child Abduction Response Team will provide superior training for all agencies involved with the search of a missing or abducted child.”

The text of the Governor’s Executive Order is below:

Whereas: The State of Georgia has a duty and responsibility to protect children from sexual predators and others who would do harm to our greatest resource; and

Whereas: The primary goal of the Child Abduction Response Team (CART) is to provide a coordinated local and state response to incidents of child abduction by organizing the resources and expertise of various agencies; and

Whereas: The State of Georgia shall implement the Child Abduction Response Team to aid in creating a Safer Georgia for children; and

Whereas: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Department of Public Safety, the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia Department of Human Resources, the Georgia Emergency Management Agency, the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice, the Georgia Department of Transportation, and the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles shall join together in a multi-agency effort to rescue abducted children and as needed, allocate their resources to missing or endangered children cases; and

Whereas: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation shall be responsible for coordinating the CART program and ensuring the agencies listed in this Executive Order work in partnership in response to child abduction incidents, training, and preventative measures; and

Whereas: The Georgia Emergency Management Agency shall support the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s activation of the CART program by establishing Unified Command and coordinating additional state resources as needed, consistent with the Georgia Emergency Operations Plan; and

Whereas: The agencies listed in this Executive Order shall execute a Memorandum of Understanding in regard to the guidelines for implementation of the CART program.

Now, therefore, by the power vested in me as Governor of the State of Georgia, it is hereby

Ordered: That the agencies listed in this Executive Order coordinate their available resources to implement the CART program and to adhere to the provisions of the CART Inter-Agency Memorandum of Understanding.

This 29th day of April, 2008.
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