Teaching Children About Stranger Dangers

By: Shannon Houser Email
By: Shannon Houser Email

We've seen it recently in National headlines---children being abducted from their homes.

Some have positive outcomes, and some not so great, but officials say authentic cases of child abduction here in Parkersburg are rare.

"We have very few missing persons reports pertaining to children. In the 17 and a half years that I've been here, I know of one actual child abduction, and that case was solved," said Parkersburg Police Department Sergeant.

Sergeant Greg Nangle of the Parkersburg Police Department says it's up to parents to teach their kids about strangers. "It's more of a parent responsibility when it comes to child safety than it it's the child's. Depending on the child's age, if they are simply not old enough to be able to know who to trust."

Parents like Courtney McMillan understand how difficult it may be to teach children who to trust. "She'll approach everybody. She'll go to Walmart and be like..hi, so when I'm in a store I always have my hand on the cart"

But McMillan knows it's her job to ensure the overall safety of her daughter. "Right now she's playing on the playground.I have all eyes on her."

There are also some basic steps that parents can take to help investigators find their kids quickly in the case of an abduction.

"We encourage all parents to keep updated photographs of their children," Sergeant Nangle said.

Information that parents hope will help keep their children away from the dangers of strangers.

The Parkersburg Police Department will be holding a free "National Night Out" in the beginning of August where parents can sign their children up for secure registries that will keep their pictures, DNA, and finger prints available in case of an abduction.


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