By Caren Harp, Administrator, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is a critical partner to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), serving as a resource to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. Since its founding in 1984, NCMEC has helped recover more than 296,000 missing children.
Recently, NCMEC consolidated its two offices in Alexandria, VA. On July 19, I joined the Department of Justices' Deputy Associate Attorney General Taylor McConkie and Office of Justice Programs Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Katie Sullivan on a tour of the new building to get a behind-the-scenes look at the many facets of NCMEC's work.
In fiscal year 2018, NCMEC received more than $28 million from OJJDP and during that time, the center helped resolve cases involving 26,203 children who were reported missing. OJJDP annually provides funding to NCMEC to help prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation, recover missing children, and provide technical assistance and training to victims, their families, and the professionals who serve them. NCMEC also manages secondary distribution of AMBER Alerts, extending the reach of alerts issued by law enforcement to a range of secondary distributors, including internet service providers and wireless carriers.
Throughout 2018, the center's CyberTipline received more than 18 million reports involving suspected child sexual exploitation. The center also notified hosting providers more than 67,700 times that their websites contained child sexual abuse content.
Over its history, NCMEC has facilitated training for more than 363,900 law enforcement, criminal justice, and healthcare professionals. NCMEC's 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST© (1-800-843-5678), fields calls ranging from sightings and leads about missing or sexually exploited children to investigative tips to information requests from parents and law enforcement. Through June 2019, the hotline has received more than 4.9 million calls.
It was exciting to tour the new location and see NCMEC staff members at work. Through their efforts, we have many more tools and resources available to respond to child abductions and bring children home safely. Here at OJJDP, we look forward to continuing our partnership with the center and supporting the important work they do every day to safeguard the lives of children.