Radio operators look to assist Sheriff#039;s Dept.

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 18, 2002

They want to help. Lawrence County ham radio operators are meeting Monday night with Lawrence County Sheriff Tim Sexton and others to discuss what role they might play, if a child were ever abducted from this area.

Lawrence County Amateur Radio Association Emergency Services Deputy Emergency Coordinator Ken Massie said ham, or amateur radio operators already volunteer for service in natural disasters such as storms.

With the recent publicity about child snatchings throughout the country, Massie said the approximately 170 amateur operators in the county could be extra eyes and ears when law enforcement needs help the most.

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Massie cited a recent Washington State survey that showed 74 percent of the children who are abducted are killed within the first three hours after being taken.

"Speed is what counts," Massie said. "Ham radio operators usually have a unit mounted in their car. Should a child be abducted, a ham operator could in that car and on the road, helping look for that child. We have contact with other operators in Cabell County, W.Va., and Boyd County, Ky. We could get on repeaters and put out the word what’s going on."

Amateur operators will also discuss homeland security issues and ham radio involvement at Monday night’s meeting.

The meeting is at 7 pm at Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency offices, in the rear of 515 Park St. Teresa Moore/The Ironton Tribune