Protecting our Children with the
Center For Missing and Exploited Children
January 20. 2007
Friends and Parents,
for giving me an opportunity to share a business and personal story
that will be of significant interest to anyone who cares about
November, I had the honor of meeting
John Walsh, the host of the TV
show America's Most Wanted and founder of the National Center
for Missing and Exploited Children (www.ncmec.org).
He's also the father of Adam Walsh who was 6 years old when he was
kidnapped and killed in 1981. John turned that tragedy into a
crusade to help victims and put some really bad people away. We had
a nice conversation and I wanted to help. In December, I visited the
headquarters of NCMEC in Alexandria, VA, met with their president
Ernie Allen and some of his managers. Recently, I visited again with
my managers and learned more about the challenges they face from the
people doing the actual analysis.
It's been a
very moving experience to tour their offices and see what they do on
a daily basis in conjunction with law enforcement agencies. Visiting
their call center, I heard one side of some conversations. I can't
even begin to imagine how desperate the parent on the other end of
the line must be when reporting and describing their missing child.
Thank goodness this organization exists because prior to John
Walsh's efforts, most police forces didn't know how to search for
missing children or communicate across jurisdictions, and the FBI
tracked stolen property but not missing people.
As you may
know, over the past few years FMS has helped intelligence analysts
in the area of counterterrorism fighting against those who seek to
destroy our civilization. Unfortunately, there are some very evil
people right here preying on our children. NCMEC helps find missing
children and puts pedophiles away. They are a non-profit and
congressionally funded organization to be the clearinghouse for
missing children. It's a very noble cause and I'm looking forward to
helping them technologically as we have with the war on terror.
learned what I have over the past few months, I would be remiss to
not share it with you. Here are some resources:
- The NCMEC
website offers a lot of information on protecting and educating
It's also important to teach the distinction of strangers
approaching children vs. the need to approach strangers in
emergency situations, since most adults will help.
children about safety on the Internet:
here's a site that with maps showing registered sex offenders in
your neighborhood and near your schools:
the statistics show these crimes aren't necessarily increasing in
number and that it's a lot of media hype. I donít know if that's
true. But as a statistician, I do know that if it strikes your
family, statistics don't matter. Fact is, there are 500,000
convicted sex offenders in public and over 100,000 of them who are
supposed to be registered are missing, not to mention those who
haven't been convicted. I don't want to make you paranoid because
the odds are still very low, but common sense precautions are worth
taking. With the recent craziness in Missouri, Florida, California,
Utah, etc., this problem exists everywhere, and hopefully we can all
help protect our children and communities better.
email has mostly focused on US issues, we've also been working with
the International Justice Mission (www.ijm.org)
that was created by a college classmate of mine, Gary Haugen. IJM is
dedicated to fighting oppression and slavery around the world.
I hope this
has been helpful. I'm delighted to be able to apply technology to
make the world a better place.
Be safe and
Other Software Solutions We've
How FMS Has Helped
FMS has created and deployed a solution that helps
the NCMEC's CyberTipLine's investigators optimize
their searches for online predators. Mandated by
Congress, the CyberTipLine works with the US
Marshalls and other national and local law
enforcement organizations to find, stop, and convict
perpetrators of online child exploitation. Rather than
manually searching individual sites for clues of
criminal behavior, the FMS solution helps them
search multiple sites simultaneously, and allows
each investigator to specify the sites to search and
how they search within each of them. Multiple
searches can be executed at once.
The result is a reduction of research times by more than
90%, resulting in a 10X productivity improvement.
More searches, more hits, more focused
investigations, more indictments, more convictions,
more children saved. Using technology to make a