Most scams, such as sub-prime mortgages and email scams, victimize adults. But custody scams victimize children. When government fails to protect children it throws open the doors to private contractors—lawyers and clinicians—who enrich themselves at the expense of children. (More about this child and the mother who tried to protect her appears below.)
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Posted on Wed, Dec. 23, 2009
Mother of slain children seeks changes to state laws, procedures
By MARK MORRIS
The Kansas City Star
A mother whose two children were killed in 2004 after her estranged husband kidnapped them proposed changes to state laws and procedures Wednesday that would better protect children.
Surrounded by law enforcement authorities and legislators at a morning press conference, Tina Porter asked for an appeals procedure for denied Amber Alert requests and more complete record-keeping on protection orders in police databases.
Porter said that if those changes had been in place five years ago, authorities may have moved more quickly on the disappearance of her children.
“We have a very short window of finding (missing children) and finding them alive,” Porter said.
In June 2004, Porter’s husband, Dan Porter, picked up her children — Sam and Lindsey, ages 7 and 8 — for a weekend visit. He soon killed them, but for more than three years refused to tell authorities what happened to them.
Dan Porter confessed in 2007 and is now serving a life sentence.
Legislation to make the proposed changes is being drafted.
Rep. Jason Kander, a Kansas City Democrat, said the changes would establish an appeals procedure for parents whose request for an Amber Alert has been denied by a local authority.
Currently, if a local law enforcement agency, such as a police department, denies an Amber Alert, the parent has no procedure for asking other agencies, such as a sheriff’s department or the Missouri Highway Patrol, to reconsider.
“This puts into place an appeals procedure so more people get their eyes on it,” said Jackson County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar.
Another change would require the courts to enter details of temporary and full orders of protection into state law enforcement databases so police can ask about the welfare of children when they encounter a parent.
Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp said that when officers now call up a name from the databases, they learn only that an order of protection has been entered. Under the proposed changes, the officer would have details about the children and custodial and visitation arrangements.
If a parent cannot account for a child during the interview, and if the officer has reason to believe a child is in danger, authorities could hold the parent for up to 20 hours until the child is found.
Sharp acknowledged that the procedure could be time-consuming for officers.
“But when it comes to the welfare of the child, we have all day,” Sharp said.
To contact Mark Morris, call 816-234-4310 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the mother and child pictured at the top
She is one of countless children in Rhode Island subjected to severe emotional and physical trauma by Family Court when it helps abusive parents to maintain control over their families after divorce. When she turned 18 in 2007, she gave the Parenting Project permission to publish her picture on behalf of all children who have been held hostage by Rhode Island custody scams.
About the Author and the Cause