Dr. Drew talks America’s missing children epidemic
Nearly 800,000 children are reported missing each year in the United States.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, about one-third of those children have been kidnapped, and about one-fifth were taken by non-family members.
If an average of 2,185 children are reported missing each day, what can we do to protect our kids?
“We live in a high-tech society,” HLN’s Jane Velez-Mitchell told Dr. Drew Thursday night. “We are in 21st century. We have all have smartphones. The surveillance cameras -- that technology is available and it is really underutilized. If we [only] had cameras on major freeways, at rest stops and weigh stations. You see how we solve crimes when we do have the surveillance cameras, I think we need to have more of them.”
Dr. Drew agreed, adding, “People have a paranoia that somehow we are going to be too observed … [or] it is going to be intruding upon our privacies.”
He then asked Velez-Mitchell what type of person would put an innocent child in harm's way.
“I think [perpetrators] are often people who have been victimized themselves," she said. "The sad thing is, Dr. Drew, this is sort of a self-perpetuating phenomenon that can be passed down from generation to generation.”
Marc Klaas, whose daughter Polly was kidnapped and murdered in 1993, told the panel that kidnappings and/or murders usually don’t just happen spontaneously.
“This is something that builds up over time -- maybe with kiddie porn,” he said. “They get more aggressive in their feelings -- more aggressive in their attitudes and more aggressive in their actions to the point where they finally do take a child -- rape that child. It is usually about sex and sometimes it is about murder as well.”
He also noted, “Once these guys seem to get a taste of this, they have a hard time going back and they will commit again and again and again.”
Watch Dr. Drew Monday through Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on HLN and follow the show on Facebook and Twitter @DrDrewHLN.