FBI leads child abduction training exercise in Broward County

Detectives work to solve staged drill in Weston

By Erica Rakow - Reporter, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. - The Federal Bureau of Investigations regularly rescues minors and arrests human traffickers nationwide. While they partner with authorities in Thailand, the Philippines and Cambodia, they also work with local police departments. 

The FBI's child exploitation task force works cases related to child abductions, child sexual exploitation enterprises, contact offenses against children, trafficking of child pornography, international parental kidnapping and contribute to the endangered child alert program.

This week the task force trained with the Coral Springs' Police Department for about four days. During a role play scenario, some 60 police officers worked together to search for a fictional 13-year-old girl, who was wearing Converse shoes with hearts on them when she vanished in Weston. 

The suspected kidnapper was a man in a white van. Officers with Bloodhound police dogs were involved in the training. Officers went over how child sex offenders typically operate,  how child abductors generally behave and on understanding the possibility of  false allegations of abductions

"We're trying to preach to these detectives to have a plan in place in the event of an emergency," FBI Special Agent James Lewis said. 

Lewis said the practical exercise will help detectives not to waste time struggling to figure out what to do in the event of an actual abduction. The FBI has done 14 of these training exercises around the country.  

The four-day training exercise in Broward County was set to end Thursday afternoon at a park. 

Lewis said team work is important. It is what got 2-month-old baby Taraji Kemp back home, when a kidnapper took her at gun point from her home in Fort Lauderdale. Detectives found her about a day later in Orlando. 


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