By Michelle Durham
GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, NJ (CBS) – The Gloucester Township Police Department is rolling out a new program called Project MARRS (Missing At Risk Response Strategies). It’s designed to quickly corral resources to locate missing persons at risk, particularly children. It’s the first program of its kind in South Jersey.
Chief Harry Earle was inspired by the seminar he attended at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“I went there because I wanted to learn more. And what they did is they empowered you to go back and make a difference. And that’s what we’ve done here.”
The MARRS program will marshal the resources of local law enforcement with pre-registered and trained volunteers who will immediately begin searching for the missing. Colleen Nick is an Arkansas Mom whose daughter Morgan was snatched while catching fireflies and has never been found.
“Morgan has been missing for 18 years. But, my heart is still fighting for her. No one has been able to prove to me that she won’t come home.”
But, she thinks programs like this will make a difference.
“I would love to see communities across the country replicate what is happening here.”
Chief Earle says they will work proactively with school social workers and others to identify at risk children.