Those driving through the Malbis area Thursday may notice a lot of police presence along Highway 90.  The FBI will be conducting a drill with many local agencies.  It will be a simulated child abduction and will finish up the first round of training for a newly-formed law enforcement team in Baldwin County.

When a child is abducted, a fast response is critical.  According to the FBI, every two minutes a child is reported abducted in America.  Furthermore, most of those that are abducted and killed, die within the first three hours of being taken.  Baldwin County now has a Joint Child Abduction Rapid Deployment Team known as JCARD.  The team has spent all week in the classroom and Thursday it will put what it’s learned to work.

“It will be a full day training exercise that includes an actual missing child, a 10 year-old missing child.  There’ll be numerous role players that will be involved in that training exercise.  Local businesses have agreed to participate and will be part of that training exercise as well as role players,” explained FBI Supervisory Special Agent, Chad Yarbrough.

Drivers may have seen signs alerting them to the upcoming drill along Highway 90 in Malbis.  A command center will be staged at a nearby church and folks traveling through the area will definitely know something is going on.

Few details have been released about the exercise.  Yarbrough said the simulated abduction will take place in Bay Branch Estates.  About 10 different homeowners are involved in that along with area businesses.

About 50 law enforcement officers from local and state agencies will take part.   The JCARD team will face various real-life scenarios while tracking down the suspect and missing child.  This is only the fourth response team of its kind in the nation.  The FBI saw a need for it in south Alabama after two reported abductions inside of two years…Hawaii Robinson in Prichard and teenager, Brook Bridges in Brewton.  Robinson was found murdered while Bridges ran away from home.

“This team will allow us to be much more agile and allow us to deploy in a much quicker way with a highly trained team of officers and detectives and agents.  These 50 individuals are not only going through the scenario, they’re receiving the extensive training,” Yarbrough explained.

That training and a much faster response time will be critical when a child’s life is counting on it.

The exercise starts shortly after 8 a.m. and will last until about 3 p.m.  Officials are asking drivers to be careful along Highway 90 between Loxley and Malbis.
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