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The 2003 session of the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation mandating the implementation of a Code Adam policy and procedure in every building owned or leased in the Commonwealth of Virginia (no exceptions).   This program’s success will be based on everyone doing their appointed task.  We must use the resources that we already have to implement this program.  The purpose of Code Adam is to prevent and/or find a lost or missing child or young adult.  Time is of the essence and is very critical.  After all, the safe return of a child to their parents is our ultimate goal.

Code Adam is a program that is named after a 6 year old boy who was left alone in a Sears Electronic department store in Florida, by his mother while she went to purchase a lamp.  When she returned a few minutes later, 6 year old Adam Walsh was nowhere to be found.   

Most major department stores, Wal Mart, K-Mart, and Target, were the first of several businesses to enact this program, with Wal Mart being the front runner in setting it up.  The procedures we are going to use are being adopted or patterned after Wal Marts’ procedures.

The procedure:  When a child or teen is reported missing on campus at VHCC, the first and immediate step taken is to get the word out.  Initiate Code Adam.   Good communication is critical for this action.  A completed description of the child and possible abductor will be issued as soon as possible.  The next step is to have all Faculty and Staff report to their nearest exit and begin to monitor that exit for any suspicious person and to look for the missing child   No matter what building you are in.   No exceptions can be made.  The key to the success of this program is an immediate response by all Faculty and Staff.  Building Wardens will assign the Faculty and Staff in their respective areas to either monitor the exits or to actively search specific areas for the missing child.  This will take a cooperative and serious effort of all involved.   Building Wardens will be in contact with each other and will relay information to Campus Police and Building and Grounds personnel.  The Receptionist will relay information and will contact the local police to assist.  Campus Police will have the main entrance to the college blocked; Buildings and Grounds personnel will be in the parking lots so a cooperative effort inside cannot be stressed enough.  When the missing child is located, the announcement of the cancellation of Code Adam will be given.

If a Parent/ Guardian approaches you and reports a missing child, follow these steps:

  1. Obtain a detailed description of the child (including name, age, height, weight, what the child was wearing, etc.)
  2. Notify Campus Police by dialing (276)739-2448 (office) or (276) 614-8282 (cell) during normal business hours or Buildings & Ground (276)739-2510 (office)  or (276) 614-8383 (cell) after hours or weekends. Have the parent wait at the front desk while the search is conducted. “Code Adam” will be initiated using the loud speaker by VP of Administrative and Financial Services and/or designee. Students will remain in their respective classrooms until the search in concluded.
  3. Building Wardens will assign the Faculty and Staff in their respective areas to either monitor the exits or to actively search specific areas for the missing child.
  4. The switchboard operator will relay information to the President and Vice President and will contact the local police to assist. He/She will also notify the VHCC Public Relations Office. When necessary will contact NCMEC at 1-800-843-5678.
  5. Campus Police will block the road at VHCC Drive and Opportunity Lane. Buildings & Grounds personnel will monitor the parking lots.
  6. When the missing child is located, radio Campus Police and Buildings & Grounds that Code Adam has been cancelled. Announcement of cancellation of Code Adam will be given over the loud speaker.

Specific duties: 

Building Wardens will direct Faculty and Staff to secure exits or search specific areas for the missing person.  They will assign zone wardens to oversee certain zones in the search.  They will also aide in the relaying of information and will be in charge of their respective area. 

Zone Wardens will oversee the search of a specific area of a building assigned to them by the Building Warden.

Faculty and Staff will secure and observe all exits and will actively search their assigned area.  They will assist the Building Warden and carry information in the event a cell phone or radio is not available.

Campus Police will immediately block the entrance to the college at VHCC Drive and Opportunity Lane.  They will also aide in relaying information to the local police agency.   They will keep the Vice President of Administration informed of the progress of the search by cell phone.  They will also make the Incident Report.

Buildings and Grounds Personnel will search the grounds of the campus to include the parking lots.  They will be assigned specific areas by the Supervisor of B&G.  They will   assist in the relay of information via radio. 

 The Receptionist will be responsible for contacting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST and coordinating communication between all parties involved.

The Vice President of Institutional Advancement will be the official media spokesperson for the college and will keep the President and Vice Presidents informed of the progress of the search.

Students will remain in their respective classroom and remain there until the search has concluded.

Last updated: 9/9/2009 12:02:38 PM