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TRAKing Criminals and Missing Persons

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 27 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2000 Pages: 96-101
Ronnie L. Paynter
Date Published
June 2000
5 pages
A tool called Technology to Recover Abducted Kids (TRAK) is a computer system that helps police create and electronically distribute flyers with any type of image, including the photograph of a missing child or a criminal, to distribute information to police offices, other jurisdictions, media representatives, and the community.
Every minute counts when a child is missing and in danger. However, disseminating information was difficult in the past due to the rudimentary tools available. The poor quality of the images and the time it took to notify the community consumed minutes and hours that could have meant the difference between life and death to these abducted children. The TRAK system costs $6,500 and includes a scanner, computer, modem, color printer, software, warranties, access to system support, phone number database management. The annual fee is $100 to $250. Creating a flyer with a TRAK system is simple and takes 5 to 10 minutes. A former police officer who directs the nonprofit agency that created the TRAK systems attributes its success to its ease of use. Nearly 500 police agencies in 23 States have the system. They use it not only for missing children but also for runaways, robberies, burglaries, people with Alzheimer’s, and in schools. The new TRAK National Launch Project should increase the use of these systems nationwide. Diagram and photograph