January 20. 2007
Dear Friends and Parents,
Thank you for giving me an opportunity to share a business and personal story that will be of significant interest to anyone who cares about children.
This past November, I had the honor of meeting John Walsh, the host of the TV show America's Most Wanted and founder of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (www.ncmec.org). He's also the father of Adam Walsh who was 6 years old when he was kidnapped and killed in 1981. John turned that tragedy into a crusade to help victims and put some really bad people away. We had a nice conversation and I wanted to help. In December, I visited the headquarters of NCMEC in Alexandria, VA, met with their president Ernie Allen and some of his managers. Recently, I visited again with my managers and learned more about the challenges they face from the people doing the actual analysis.
It's been a very moving experience to tour their offices and see what they do on a daily basis in conjunction with law enforcement agencies. Visiting their call center, I heard one side of some conversations. I can't even begin to imagine how desperate the parent on the other end of the line must be when reporting and describing their missing child. Thank goodness this organization exists because prior to John Walsh's efforts, most police forces didn't know how to search for missing children or communicate across jurisdictions, and the FBI tracked stolen property but not missing people.
As you may know, over the past few years FMS has helped intelligence analysts in the area of counterterrorism fighting against those who seek to destroy our civilization. Unfortunately, there are some very evil people right here preying on our children. NCMEC helps find missing children and puts pedophiles away. They are a non-profit and congressionally funded organization to be the clearinghouse for missing children. It's a very noble cause and I'm looking forward to helping them technologically as we have with the war on terror.
Having learned what I have over the past few months, I would be remiss to not share it with you. Here are some resources:
Some say the statistics show these crimes aren't necessarily increasing in number and that it's a lot of media hype. I donít know if that's true. But as a statistician, I do know that if it strikes your family, statistics don't matter. Fact is, there are 500,000 convicted sex offenders in public and over 100,000 of them who are supposed to be registered are missing, not to mention those who haven't been convicted. I don't want to make you paranoid because the odds are still very low, but common sense precautions are worth taking. With the recent craziness in Missouri, Florida, California, Utah, etc., this problem exists everywhere, and hopefully we can all help protect our children and communities better.
While this email has mostly focused on US issues, we've also been working with the International Justice Mission (www.ijm.org) that was created by a college classmate of mine, Gary Haugen. IJM is dedicated to fighting oppression and slavery around the world.
I hope this has been helpful. I'm delighted to be able to apply technology to make the world a better place.
Be safe and best wishes,
FMS created and deployed a solution that helps the NCMEC's CyberTipLine's investigators optimize their searches for online predators. Mandated by Congress, the CyberTipLine works with the US Marshalls and other national and local law enforcement organizations to find, stop, and convict perpetrators of online child exploitation. Rather than manually searching individual sites for clues of criminal behavior, the FMS solution helps them search multiple sites simultaneously, and allows each investigator to specify the sites to search and how they search within each of them. Multiple searches can be executed at once.
The result is a reduction of research times by more than 90%, resulting in a 10X productivity improvement. More searches, more hits, more focused investigations, more indictments, more convictions, more children saved. Using technology to make a difference!
"Thanks! FMS products are extremely powerful, unbelievably stable, great timesavers, easy to learn, and an absolute pleasure to work with!"
Alison Balter, Author, Trainier, Consultant