The Child Abduction Response Team along with the Eau Claire Police Department got together Wednesday to prepare for what could be a parent’s worst nightmare.
The organizations conducted a scenario training to help respond to any potential missing children cases.
The drill was held at the Whispering Pines Camp Ground in Eau Claire. Several response teams were on scene, along with actors playing the roles of those in crisis.
Officials say they wanted a big space to conduct this drill to better prepare them for a real scenario.
The scenario the team was working with was a missing 15-year-old girl who went missing from the Country Jam grounds. She was last seen by her friends. Police say the concern is that a strange man was following the girl and her friends the evening before. The teen also has medical issues.
They all worked together to take proactive steps in how they would work to find the missing girl.
“The reason to have a drill is to work out any bumps or issues…so when something does happen, we’re able to respond and it goes as smoothly as it can,” said Don Henning, CART coordinator.
During the drill, actors played the roles of the teenage girl’s friends and family. Police also interviewed a mock suspect.
There was also a search party, K-9 unit, drones, and a crisis management team.
“Coming together like this just shows how strong these partnerships are and it’s always a good exercise when something like this occurs for everyone to realize how well they worked together,” said Mike Felton of the Department of Corrections.
The CART team says they meet quarterly and they conduct mock scenario drills like this each year.
Officials say getting together periodically helps them stay prepared.