East Windsor neighbourhood relieved after child not abducted
A false alarm is a sigh of relief for those in an east Windsor neighbourhood where police were investigating a possible child abduction on Sunday.
Windsor police say an abduction did not take place, but still the response was necessary to ensure no child was in danger.
"Better to be safe than sorry obviously," says Const. Andy Drouillard.
Police say early Sunday afternoon, a group of young children were playing in a park off Lassaline Avenue.
One of the kids told their parents a large white van pulled up and a man took a seven-year-old girl into the vehicle and took off.
Officials were then notified.
"There was some doubt on part of the parents and officers as well, but we had to treat it real right from the start," says Drouillard.
The investigation concluded an abduction did not take place, but the risk couldn't be left to chance.
"I'm just glad that everything worked out well," says nearby resident Iris Merrifield. "What if they would have just ignored it and something really happened? The police are right on it. They have to check something like that."
Police Chief Al Frederick says they will always respond in these sorts of situations.
“It's a priority one, any time there's an allegation or a potential for an abduction and that's what we did in this case," says Frederick.
While abductions are rare, an amber alert was considered, according to Frederick, but he says certain criteria is required for such action.
"We need to have specific information that a person, a known person is missing," says Frederick.
A missing person report was never filed in this instance, but the response was still great. The K-9 unit came in along with major crimes investigators.
One officer tweeted Sunday saying off duty patrolmen were volunteering to help.
Frederick says this situation still serves as a reminder to speak to your children.
"Children should be encouraged not to talk with strangers obviously and to report anything of suspicion that they see to a responsible adult."
"You know just try and inform them that you don't make up stories like this because it could actually happen to somebody and it could be devastating," says Merrifield.