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Missing Children Society of Canada and Toronto Police Service Partner on ‘Milk Carton 2.0™’ Initiative

On November 10, 2014, the Toronto Police Service became the next law enforcement agency to collaborate with the Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC) on a new and innovative Search Program, dubbed ‘Milk Carton 2.0™’.

This game-changing and innovative technology creates a virtual search party that can instantly expand the reach of timely information about a missing child.

“Every second counts when a child goes missing,” said Chief William Blair. “By embracing these new technological advances we are expanding our search capacity significantly.”

MCSC’s Search Program, adopted by the Calgary Police Service in 2013 and endorsed by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, utilizes strategic partnerships and one-of-a-kind technology platforms to allow law enforcement to instantly rally a community.

“There is no other organization running a program like ours with this technology and the ability to connect, in real-time, law enforcement with millions of well-placed Canadians as soon as a child goes missing,” says Amanda Pick, Executive Director of the Missing Children Society of Canada. “We are taking away time and anonymity, exactly what child abductors require. The legacy of this Search Program will be changing the way we stop child abductions in Canada,” says Pick.

Also presenting at this event was BlackBerry®, who introduced the Missing Children Society of Canada BBM® Channel to the ‘Milk Carton 2.0™’ rapid response network. With over 91 million monthly active BBM users around the world, MCSC and the Toronto Police Services will be able to leverage a new social network to raise awareness and get Canadians involved in the search for a missing child via Most Valuable BBM Channel. BlackBerry® issued a call to action for all Canadians; asking them to download BBM Channels and subscribe to the Missing Children Society of Canada Channel, C0012598C.

“We are proud to be supporting the Missing Children Society of Canada and the Toronto Police Services by leveraging the immediacy and privacy of BBM Channels to help find missing children,” said Margaret Stuart, Managing Director of BlackBerry Canada. “By following the Missing Children Society of Canada BBM Channel, Canadians will get notified immediately on their BlackBerry®, iPhone or Android smartphone as soon as information is posted into the Channel. Accurate and quick communication is so important when trying to locate a child who has gone missing.”

WestJet, a founding partner in the ‘Milk Carton 2.0™’ initiative and a leader in community investment and employee engagement, spoke of their support of WestJet Cares for Kids partner, the Missing Children Society of Canada, and their involvement in the corporate engagement program CodeSearch™.

“Our WestJetters, what we call our employees, bring passion and energy to what they do. That passion and that energy is what drove us to be a founding partner of CodeSearch™,” said Richard Bartrem, Vice-President, Communications and Community Relations at WestJet. “Whether your company has dozens, hundreds or thousands of employees, they can all participate in keeping children safe. On behalf of our more than 10,000 WestJetters coast-to-coast, I encourage other companies in Toronto and across Canada to join CodeSearch.”

Chief Blair welcomed the opportunity for the Service to be part of the innovative venture to quickly locate missing children.

“I don’t think there is a greater responsibility that any of us have or that all of us have than the safety and protection of our children,” he said. “It’s a shared responsibility and a commitment I think every Canadian makes to ensure that our children are safe. I can only imagine as both a parent and as a cop how traumatic it is for any family to go through the extraordinary trauma and tragedy of losing a child and that’s why we are so proud to stand as partners with the MCSC for the extraordinary work that they do in ensuring that information of missing children is shared right across Canada.”

Toronto Police Services Board Chair Alok Mukherjee said CodeSearch is a fine example of harnessing the power of existing and emerging technology for social good.

“Utilizing new and innovative ways to quickly locate missing or abducted children and reunite them with their families is vital and I would say priceless,” he noted. “Keeping our children and communities safe is paramount to our community and I believe to each and everyone of our officers as they carry out their roles and responsibilities. Missing children is not always a local challenge confined within the boundaries of a defined community.

“Increasingly, it’s a challenge that crosses boundaries and is taking on an international dimension. Therefore, forming these strategic and important partnerships not only locally but nationally and internationally will be vital. Through such linkages, we can build a strong alliance in which everyone, from law enforcement agencies to corporations to members of the community play a dynamic role in ensuring that our children and communities are safe.”

“This is a game-changer,” said Chief Blair at today’s conference. “We in the Toronto Police Service are delighted to have this opportunity to be a partner… This is a thing that changes communities’ right across Canada and makes a difference for all Canadian families, and for all Canadian kids. For that we are truly grateful and blessed to have such extraordinary partners as [MCSC].”

‘Milk Carton 2.0™’ means a connected community of individuals, media and corporations in partnership with law enforcement to reunite missing children with their families. To learn more, please click HERE.