LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Lafayette police are sharing the protocols that led to the recovery of a missing girl last week.
"Our patrol division saved that child's life," said Lafayette Police Department Juvenile Detective Division's Lt. Jay Rosen.
Annual training on missing children paid off for Lafayette Police on April 19.
"Last week was a perfect example of a success story where you have neighbors rallying, you have communities rallying," said Chief Patrick Flannelly. "You have well-trained police officers with the right priorities."
As we've reported, police found a missing child after just an hour. Prosecutors said she was found in a locked basement in James Chadwell's house.
"They were tenacious on getting into that house and going in there and finding and rescuing that child," Rosen said.
Flannelly said their officers have specific training on what to do when a child can't be found.
"Anytime we have a report of a missing child, that first hour is critical for us and we saturate that area with as many resources as we have available," Flannelly explained.
Rosen said when a child goes missing, it's all hands on deck.
"We were knocking on doors and there were neighbors that said they saw the child there at that house," said Rosen.
At least 15 officers scoured the neighborhood until the girl was found.
Court documents say the nine-year-old girl had gone to Chadwell's to pet his dog. Once she was inside, Chadwell attacked her and hit her in the head several times because she was fighting back.
"Children face a much greater risk from people that they know, people that they're comfortable with," Flannelly explained.
Lt. Randy Sherer said although police are trained for these scenarios, education is crucial to preventing it.
"One of the best things you can do for your child is to educate them, and it starts with educating yourself first," explained Sherer.
Rosen said police are ready to handle any similar situations in the future.
"We're going to pull out all the stops and we're going to do whatever it takes to find that missing child," Rosen said.
For resources on child abduction prevention education, click here.