Sen. Specter's unsung cause, missing children

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Sen. Arlen Specter was concerned about missing children.

In May 1985, he chaired a Senate committee hearing in Washington, D.C., and he invited me to appear before the committee to present some of the existing problems that were impacting investigations in cases of missing children.

The testimony resulted in the formation of federal legislation that prohibited individuals from going from state to state, preying on the parents of missing children by giving them false hopes and charging them large sums of money. Legislation also made it mandatory for individuals to be trained and licensed before engaging in missing persons investigations.

Sen. Specter and the late Sen. John Heinz were instrumental in urging companies and businesses to include the name, photo and biography of a missing child on their mass advertising mail. As a result, on a weekly basis, 15 million households were notified about a missing child.

Sen. Specter will be remembered as the longest-serving senator who served Pennsylvanians with dedication and devotion. I will always remember him as the senator who really cared about missing children.

THERESE ROCCO
Brookline
The writer is a former assistant chief of the Pittsburgh Police bureau.


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