House Passes Child Abduction Legislation for Rapid Response Teams

Apr 26, 2024
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Rep. John George, R-Newalla, on Thursday secured passage of legislation that will ensure a prompt and coordinated response from law enforcement in the event of a child abduction.

Senate Bill 1407 would authorize the Department of Public Safety to establish and oversee the Oklahoma Child Abduction Response Teams (OCARTS) in collaboration with federal, state, tribal, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies, along with relevant social services entities. These teams would work collectively to rapidly respond to verified child abductions.

"This legislation not only solidifies in statute the highly successful Oklahoma child abduction teams but also signifies a proactive approach to locating missing children quickly," George said. "The safety and well-being of our children are of utmost importance; we must mobilize every resource and effort available to ensure their safe and immediate return when they go missing."

Under the measure, OCARTS will develop coordinated response plans for verified child abductions, ensuring efficient verification procedures, notifications, and outreach to local law enforcement. Law enforcement agencies will have the authority to utilize automated license plate readers to aid in coordinated responses to verified child abductions.

SB1407 passed the House unanimously and now returns to the Senate, where its author is Sen. Roger Thompson, R-Okemah.

Oklahoma House of Representatives seal