STORY COUNTY, Iowa -- A group of Story County Sheriff’s deputies and community volunteers came together Monday to train for an event they hope does not happen.
The Sheriff's Office is staging a mock child abduction at a rural location in northern Story County. Officers will be talking to a family which has a missing child. Volunteers will stage a phone bank to field calls from the public.
"Today is the last of 3 mock drills," said Capt. Barry Thomas of the Story County Sheriff's Office. He said his the Sheriff's Department training is to "make sure we prepare ourselves in the event we would ever have a missing child, or missing person."
The exercise will work with actors to give a realistic feel. Most of those participating are staff members with the Sheriff's Department. The scenario was on a rural road between McCallsburg, and Zearing. Near a grassy bike trail, a child's bike was found in some weeds.
"This mock drills is missing 9-year-old that was abducted," said Thomas. "The players in this actually saw someone abduct a 9-year-old child," he added. " We're running our staff through the exercise to make sure they appropriately address all the things that could come about."
Time is of the essence. Statistics from The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children show 47-percent of abducted children die within the first hour and 76-percent in the first three hours.