Bay Area officers attending intensive training on missing children cases

SAN FRANCISCO (KTVU) - In an instant a child can go missing. It happens hundreds of thousands of times each year in the United States. And longtime San Francisco sheriff's deputy Mike Reid is learning what to do if it happens in the city.

"Being able to identify some of the stuff we don't see. Some of the dangers, clues to see stuff that might trigger a response that wow that's not right," said Reid.

Reid is one of more than 80 deputies, police and other law enforcement officers from throughout Northern California to receive an intensive daylong training on how to respond to a case of a missing or exploited child, and what to look for.

"Behaviors. Pedophiles. Bruises in children, the way they are acting. Clues you might not recognize," said Reid.

The training session is being hosted by San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi who invited the training director from the national center for missing and exploited children.

"We're going to break down the types of predators involved in the various types of missing, abducted and exploited children cases. Then we are going to break down each scenario an officer or 911 professional could encounter," said training director Craig Hill.

"We're all committed to improving our municipal skills and making sure we respond effectively," said Mirkarimi.

Before the training, Marc Klaas told the officers firsthand of the horror he went through when his then 12 year-old daughter Polly was kidnapped from her bedroom in Petaluma. She was found later, murdered.

"We were told Polly had been kidnapped and then we were told the Petaluma police didn't want us to come up to Petaluma that evening because they didn't want a distraught father trampling evidence," said Klaas.

The fine points of the training are not being revealed publically.

One deputy said he hopes he'll never need to put the training to use. But if and when a child is abducted, they will be better able to help in the investigation.