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May/June 2005
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U.S. Department of Justice Observes Missing Children's Day 2005

Help Us Bring Our Missing Children Safely Home picture

Each year, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and OJJDP sponsor events throughout the Nation.This year's commemoration at DOJ recognized the outstanding efforts that law enforcement personnel, private citizens, and corporations made on behalf of missing and exploited children.

Among the citations presented this year were the 2005 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award to Lt. Kenny Wynns of the Midwest City (Oklahoma) Police Department and the AMBER Alert Citizen Award to Charles Cogburn of Lamar, Arkansas. Altogether, more than 25 law enforcement officers and organizations received either a 2005 National Missing Children's Law Enforcement Award or a 2005 National Exploited Children's Law Enforcement Award. Gay Smither from Friendswood, Texas, whose 12-year-old daughter Laura was kidnapped and murdered in 1997, addressed the commemoration audience.

Families of missing children were among the guests at the ceremony. Other guests included representatives of child advocacy organizations, Federal agencies, and corporate programs that help to recover missing children. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the winning poster from this year's National Missing Children's Day Art Contest was announced.

Administered by the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice