CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Every day, people find themselves in situations they never expect to be in.
In our special series, Think Fast, we let you experience these dangerous scenarios before they actually happen to you.
Our goal is to make sure you're prepared and know what to do if your life is on the line. Monday morning, Chris Kopp, a Crime Prevention Specialist with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, discussed what you should do if your child is abducted or goes missing.
“The most important thing is call 911 immediately,” Kopp said. “Time is very valuable and very precious and every minute that we lose is one minute further away from trying to reunite the child with their parents.”
In this race against time, officer Kopp said technology can be your best friend. “Have a picture on your phone that is recent, that is a good face shot of your child. That way you can email or text it to our lead detectives. That way we know exactly what your child currently looks like,”
Like so many emergency situations, Kopp said the outcome will likely be determined by how prepared you were before your child went missing.
Kopp says that means talking with your kids and making sure they know what to do if they are separated from you.
Also, it is important to be an informed parent. Kopp said you need to know what is going on in your child's life and let police know if there is any reason to believe your child would wander off or run away.
“If a missing child is abducted, we need to take the investigation one way. If the child is missing or they ran away, then we look a little harder into friends and family and things that they have been doing online to try and track them down,” said Kopp.
For older kids, monitoring their online profile is extremely important. Knowing who they are friends with on Facebook and knowing who tracks their pictures on Instagram can help point police in the right direction during their investigation.