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Child Abduction Response Team's southern Arizona branch conducts readiness exercise

Posted at 6:18 AM, Mar 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-13 20:19:19-04

The Child Abduction Response Team's southern Arizona branch practiced setting up its command post in the event of a child abduction, Tuesday morning. 

"What we want to do is we want to be ready," said Oro Valley Police Department's Lieutenant Chris Olson, who leads the branch. 

He says CART was established in 2011 and the southern Arizona branch has been around for two and a half years. This branch hasn't worked on a case in southern Arizona yet but is making sure agencies are prepared to know where different stations of the command post are located.   

"A child abduction is a moment of crisis for any community," he said. "It is completely overwhelming for the agency investigating." 

He says when an agency needs assistance, an alert to all CART members will go out statewide. If the incident is in southern Arizona, the southern Arizona branch will deploy to provide a fast response while CART makes its way there to assist from Phoenix. 

Maricopa County Sheriff's Department Detective Tony Rodarte says time is of the essence and the goal is to get boots on the ground as fast as possible to look for any missing or abducted child, or vulnerable child gone missing.

"At the end of the day we are here for a child," said Detective Rodarte. 

The agencies participating in CART include Tucson Police, Oro Valley Police, Marana Police, Sierra Vista Police, South Tucson Police, Pima County Sheriff's Department, Maricopa County Sheriff's Department, Pinal County Sheriff's Department, the FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Marshals.

Detective Rodarte applauds law enforcement agencies for working together and says the next step is to create a CART branch in northern Arizona.