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In a split second on Sept. 23, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) sent more than 1,300 poster alerts to businesses and residents along a geo-targeted swath of highways in Dallas, Texas – Interstate 35, U.S. Highway 76 and State Highway Loop 12 – where a man might be fleeing in a stolen 2009 Lincoln sedan. L aw enforcement also issued an AMBER Alert and a BOLO for the white car, which was stolen when the owner stopped for gas, then went inside the gas station and left her keys in the car. Why the sense of urgency for a stolen vehicle? There was a 3-year-old girl in the backseat. “We were getting tons of calls,” Detective Ryan Daley , with the Dallas Police Department, said of possible sightings of the car and child, who was safely recovered. “The more information that gets out, the more people notice. Everyone has a phone to- day. It’s a saturation process, and it works.” Since NCMEC opened its doors more than 36 years ago, photos remain the single most powerful tool for finding missing children. Getting those photos and any pertinent information in front of people in the best position to help – and doing it quickly – has been an enduring challenge. From the day when photos of missing children were placed on milk cartons, sent through the mail or sat in stacks waiting in line on fax machines, the process has gotten faster and more ef- fective. Now, technological advancements, including geo-target- ing and mapping tools, are making NCMEC ’s photo distribution instantaneous – and helping bring more missing children home. “We can pinpoint precisely where we want to send the poster alerts because of the technology that was built for us,” said Patricia Willingham , director of NCMEC’s case management services. Her team distributed more than 1.7 million poster alerts last year alone through the ADAM Program , which was built by LexisNexis Risk Solutions® for NCMEC and is managed by the technology company. ADAM , which stands for Automated Delivery of Alerts on Missing Children , was named in memory of 6-year-old Adam Walsh , who was abducted from a Florida shopping mall in 1981 and found murdered 16 days after he vanished. His frantic par-


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(L-R) Cal/John Walsh on "In Pursuit".

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