LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (News Release) – Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge today announced the allocation of an additional $150,000 for the Child Abduction Response Teams (CART) program, a multiagency initiative coordinated by the Criminal Justice Institute. This announcement comes after the collaborative effort completed the first in the nation, statewide certification of all twelve CARTs located in the state, streamlining resources to better protect children in Arkansas if they are abducted, missing or endangered.
“Too many parents live in anguish of a lost or abducted child, and we must do everything in our power to bring missing children home,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “CART teams understand how precious each second is when investigating an abduction which can mean the difference between life and death for a child.”
In 2016, a partnership was formed between the Attorney General’s Office, the Criminal Justice Institute, Arkansas State Police, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management. The agreement formed the foundation for twelve CARTs with the goal of reducing the response time and increasing the likelihood of a successful recovery for missing or abducted children.
In 2015, Rutledge designated $100,000 from the Standard & Poor settlement to facilitate the implementation of CARTs throughout the state.
The multi-agency and multi-discipline response has established and practice channels of response to reduce time and has received full certification from the U.S. Department of Justice, AMBER Alert and Technical Assistance Program.
About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge
Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves as Chairwoman of the National Association of Attorneys General Southern Region and re-established and co-chairs the National Association of Attorneys General Committee on Agriculture. As the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association, she remains active on the Executive Board.
A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.