Sometimes, timing is everything. Several weeks ago Recreation Coordinator Pam Pearce asked Deputy Chief (and Parks Board member) Brad Johnston to speak at an in service training for life guards at the Astoria Aquatic Center. That talk was scheduled for May 4th. The potential abduction Astoria Police had responded to the week earlier of course focused some of the conversation. What would happen if a child was missing at the Aquatic Center?
On May 8th, 2014 a mother reported that her 8-year-old child was missing. Aquatic Center staff responded immediately, evacuating the pool, checking the locker rooms, and watching the doors. Astoria Police responded but as they arrived the child was located coming out of a restroom. Once again, a good dress rehearsal for an emergency.
Astoria Police and Parks and Recreation both hope that parents and children will talk about these issues. Parents looking for talking points or resources can find information at http://www.missingkids.com/Safety. The site includes information about net safety, child ID programs, child abductions, and others. Businesses looking for suggestions on how they can respond to these incidents can find resources at the missing kids site about Project Code Adam.