Child abduction drill readies officers for response team

TACOMA -- Police searched for several hours this morning for a missing child as part of a complex drill to gain certification as part of the Child Abduction Response Team.

Department of Justice officials were on hand for the mock abduction and monitored the situation as Tacoma police searched for evidence, interviewed witnesses, captured the suspect and rescued the girl.

The drill is an exam for the police department as it tries to become the only certified CART (Child Abduction Response Team) in Washington state; the nearest certified CART team is in southern Oregon.

Officers spent the day going through a detailed scenario where a young girl was kidnapped and police closed in on the suspect.

Officials said this hands-on training is a great way to give officers and detectives the experience they need in the event of an actual child abduction emergency.

Lt. Rob Jepson said, "If you study what you've done in the past and can improve on it as you go along -- and when we're talking about an abducted child or a missing or an endangered child -- it can't be more important than that."