ECSO utilizes phone call alert system for missing children - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

ECSO utilizes phone call alert system for missing children

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EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

An Effingham County teenager is on her way back home to her family Monday night.

Sixteen-year-old Kelly Taylor McGuire was reported missing Sunday.

One of the tools the sheriff's office used to help get the word out: a phone call alert service.

This is not a new resource, but many families arent familiar with it.

Because of that, people weren't sure whether to take it seriously.

However, the Effingham County Sheriff's Office said it is a real alert and a very serious matter.

In the event that the sheriff's office is searching for a missing child, they will provide information to a service called  "A Child is Missing" which sends out a thousand phone calls in the immediate area where the child was last seen, notifying families who they are searching for.

It will also ask if you have any information to call the sheriff's office.

In this most recent case, the sheriff's office left the dispatch number to call, which could be why residents didnt recognize the number.

The sheriff's office urges the public to take this important resource seriously.

"They can alert people faster than we can and they can centralize it," said Cpl. Jason Bragg, with the ECSO. "They can say within a mile or so of the residents of where the child was last seen at. They can put the phone calls to that area and alert people a lot fast than we can. So if you do get that it is real.

The sheriff's office said luckily they dont have to utilize the service very often because they are able to find most of the missing children before the alert needs to go out.

If you have a concern about the legitamacy of the call, you are encouraged to call the ECSO.

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

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