Sunday, January 20, 2008

Child Shield U.S.A. makes way into Panama City market

Child Shield U.S.A. makes way into Panama City market
Thursday, January 17, 2008
By Daniel Carson
PANAMA CITY
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children handled an average of 258 service-related calls on its missing children hotline in the last quarter of 2007.
Using U.S. Department of Justice statistics, Rockford Boylan said the national group estimated that more than 2,000 children a day are reported missing to the FBI.
"When I saw this, it got ahold of me," Boylan said.
Boylan is Child Shield U.S.A.’s newly licensed affiliate for the Panama City area. He said this is the company’s first entry into the area market.
Founded in 1990, Child Shield promotes its unique package of child protection education and recovery services for missing children. The Tucson, Ariz.-based company offers parents educational materials aimed at reducing the number of lost, missing and abducted children, and touts its access to a network of 3,500 investigators when a child goes missing.
Boylan said Child Shield’s registration services, which costs an initial $99 and $15 a month for maintenance fees, include instructions on making a child identification video.
The video, made by the child’s parents and stored and protected by the company, is disseminated to law enforcement agencies at no cost if a child becomes missing, Boylan said.
Child Shield also will offer a poster with a child’s image to assist law enforcement agencies and missing children’s organizations and clearinghouses.
Boylan said the company also will hire a private investigator, at no cost, to assist law enforcement in a missing child recovery and offer a $50,000 reward for the child’s recovery.
More than 1 million children nationwide are registered with the company, Boylan said.
The company’s educational materials include a monthly subscription to "The Shield," which offers tips to parents on child safety and explains current tricks predators use to prey upon children.
Boylan said child predators will sometimes take years to get to know the parents of a child and have infiltrated chat rooms and different Internet sites.
"These people are getting very sophisticated," Boylan said.
Overall, Boylan said his main mission with Child Shield is to reduce the number of missing children.
"We can’t do it without the parents and without public participation," Boylan said.