Herald Journal, June 16, 2003
Lester Prairie police get computer to find missing kids
By Julie Yurek
A new, sophisticated computer arriving soon at the Lester Prairie Police Department will enhance the department's abilities to find missing and endangered children.
The computer has software specifically designed to help in the search for missing children, the Lost Child Alert Technology Resource (LOCATER) program. The system also works with Amber Alerts.
The LOCATER program will allow Lester Prairie Police Department to rapidly distribute critical missing child data on a local, statewide, or national basis.
Carlson applied for the computer, which is from the Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Government funds allow NCMEC to provide LOCATER system free of charge to law enforcement agencies that investigate missing child cases, according to the NCMEC.
"There are many challenges facing law enforcement personnel in missing child cases. One of the greatest is collecting and disseminating the child's descriptive information quickly. With that in mind, the LOCATER system was created to provide hardware and software needed to distribute information quickly," according to the NCMEC.
"We have had missing children before," Police Chief Bob Carlson said.
Usually it's children going somewhere after school without telling a parent and the department tracks the child down, he said.
This computer system may be the only one in McLeod County, and the department will be able to provide the LOCATER service to other agencies, Carlson said.
Besides assisting in missing children cases, the LOCATER system includes templates for 100 kinds of posters such as missing adults, wanted persons, and crime alerts.
The department is expecting the computer system to arrive near the end of June, Carlson said.