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FAQ: Team Adam

Team Adam is a resource for law enforcement provided by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children®. It was named after Adam Walsh, the abducted and murdered son of NCMEC co-founders John and Revé Walsh. Team Adam is an on-site response and support system providing investigative and technical assistance to law enforcement agencies in cases of critical child abduction and child sexual exploitation. Team Adam consultants are trained to assist victim families by obtaining appropriate family and personal assistance during a crisis.

Who are Team Adam consultants?

Team Adam consultants include retired federal, state and local law enforcement officers. As of November 2012 there were more than 60 consultants on call to respond directly to the scene of a critical child abduction or sexual exploitation case. Each consultant receives intensive training. Consultants are selected to assist with a case based on their expertise and proximity to the scene to minimize response time.

How does Team Adam work with agencies?

Consultants work in full cooperation with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. They report to an agency's command center for each case and determine the particular needs of the investigating agency. Consultants advise, assist and offer NCMEC’s extensive technological resources including direct access to NCMEC’s case management and case analysis systems, lead analysis and data mining services. Team Adam consultants are also prepared and authorized to provide additional assistance to investigators and the victim's family as appropriate.

How was Team Adam started, and how is it funded?

The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation provided a generous grant of $3 million in initialfunding for Team Adam. This grant covered the startup expenses and first few years of operational costs. Permanent funding has been provided through the U.S. Department of Justice and corporate partners.

Who runs Team Adam?

The program is managed by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Missing Children Division to ensure investigating agencies have access to all available NCMEC resources.

Why is Team Adam necessary?

Time is the enemy in missing and sexually exploited child cases. According to a study by the state of Washington’s Office of the Attorney General in 76.2 percent of cases where a child was abducted and then murdered, the murder of the child occurred within the first three hours. Rapid response is a major factor to the recovery of a living child taken by nonfamily abductors. Offenders who sexually assault and murder children may do so repeatedly.

With approximately 18,000 law enforcement agencies in the U.S., some agencies may not be familiar with all the resources available through NCMEC to assist in missing and sexually exploited child cases. Team Adam provides a quick and thorough response to these cases and helps ensure law enforcement has access to the best tools and latest technology. Their involvement greatly improves the likelihood of a successful recovery.

How active is the program?

Through November 2012, Team Adam has assisted law enforcement by deploying more than 715 times in 49 states. Consultants have searched for more than 845 children, of which 774 children have been recovered. Team Adam consultants played a key role in helping reunite 5,192 children separated from their families by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

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