Roughly 15 years ago, a boy who was tired of his art class at summer camp decided to walk to his parent’s restaurant on Memorial Blvd without telling anyone. We found him an hour or two later. We now have the child check in systems and other measures to help prevent this type of incident happening again.
The first thing done when a child goes missing now is declare a CODE ADAM. Named for Adam Walsh, the 6-year-old son of John Walsh (America’s Most Wanted host), Code Adam is used by Wal-Mart originally and now most department stores, retail shops, supermarkets, hospitals and museums.
When a child goes missing:
1. Get a detailed description of the child including what they are wearing.
2. Use the telephone handset intercom to declare a CODE ADAM. Give the description over the intercom.
3. Use the walkie-talkie to declare a CODE ADAM. Remind Security to lock down the building and remind all staff to take their walkie-talkies and search the building.
4. Security will stay at the entrances and turn away anyone who tries to come in except for law enforcement.
5. Search the building for 10 minutes before calling 911.
6. Be sure and check with Montessori to see if the missing child was in their class and went unnoticed by the teachers.
7. When law enforcement arrives, follow their instructions.
After the child is found:
1. If the child is found and appears to have been lost but unharmed, they are returned to their family members.
2. If the child is found with someone other than a parent or legal guardian, try and delay their departure for as long as possible until law enforcement arrives without putting the child in danger.
3. “All Clear” will be announced when the child has been found, returned to their parents, the we are open to the public again and everything is back to normal.