(1) Public alerts can be one of the most effective tools in combating child abductions;
(2) Law-enforcement officers and other professionals specializing in the field of abducted and missing children agree that the most critical moments in the search for an abducted child are the first few hours immediately following the abduction, asserting that if a child is not found within two to four hours, it is unlikely that child will be found alive;
(3) The rapid dissemination of information, including a description of the abducted child, details of the abduction, abductor and vehicle involved, to the citizens of the affected community and region is, therefore, critical;
(4) Alerted to an abduction, the citizenry become an extensive network of eyes and ears serving to assist law enforcement in quickly locating and safely recovering the child;
(5) The most effective method of immediately notifying the public of a child abduction is through the broadcast media; and
(6) That in addition to public alerts, other tools allowing rapid response and identification of the movements of persons suspected in a child abduction require the use of all forms of developing technologies to assist law enforcement in rapid response to these alerts and is an additional tool for assuring the well being and safety of our children. Thus, the use of traffic video recording and monitoring devices for the purpose of surveillance of a suspect vehicle adds yet another set of eyes to assist law enforcement and aid in the safe recovery of the child.
(b) The Legislature declares that given the successes other states and regions have experienced in using broadcast media alerts to quickly locate and safely recover abducted children, and, with the recent development of highway video recording and monitoring systems, it is altogether fitting and proper, and within the public interest, to establish these programs for West Virginia.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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