OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – Some parents and kids in Ogden are on edge after an attempted kidnapping of an 11-year-old girl from her school playground. Police and a group committed to keeping kids safe explain the best way parents can teach their kids about kidnapping.
On Tuesday, police arrested a 41-year-old man for attempted child abduction at Lincoln Elementary School. Now, police are reminding parents to talk to their kids about kidnapping.
“It’s possible,” Ogden Police Lt. Brian Eynon stated. “It’s rare. Please don’t be afraid when you go out in public and go to school.”
Eynon and the entire police department want children to know kidnapping can happen without being scared that it will. Eynon added, “Know that that number one: they’re strong enough to get away, and they’re smart kids, and they have a lot of people around them who love them hopefully, and the police are here, and call 911.”
These are simple things that parents should remind their kids of often.
Along with those talking points, Prevent Child Abuse Utah says when an attempted kidnapping does happen, parents should ask their children about the experience, but avoid using words that will add anxiety to the situation.
“Ask them questions like, ‘Did you hear about what happened? How did you feel about it? Did you see what happened? What are your thoughts on this?'” explained Connor Kubricky of Prevent Child Abuse Utah. He continued, “Allowing them that space to give you the information that they received and that they understand can then help you, as a parent, respond appropriately to the developmental area that they’re in.”
For parents and children dealing with the trauma of an abduction situation, police departments — like the Ogden Police Department — have victim advocates who can direct the families to resources for help. Lt. Eynon encouraged parents who have children at Lincoln Elementary School to call the victim advocates. He then added, “I think the greatest service of all is the parents making the children aware that this is possible.”
For parents who’d like to talk to the Ogden Police Department’s victim advocates, please call 801-629-8246 and ask to speak with either Amber Stell or Jacky Juarez.