#TheBahamas, February 23, 2022 – The long-awaited MARCO (Mandatory Action Rescuing Children Operation) alert system is on the way after a final test. The live test, which was conducted by BTC, was an opportunity for members of the media – who will play a key role in the system – to see how the process unfolds.
The event took place at the Ministry of National Security on Wednesday 16and February. Minister of National Security, Hon. Wayne Munroe said families will no longer have to suffer the turmoil of waiting the traditional 48 hours before an official search is usually carried out by police.
The minister said the new alert system would be immediately activated once a child is reported missing and details are given to police. He said the MARCO Alert System was filed in 2016 by the late former Minister of National Security, Hon. Bernard J. Nottage. He also said the system might not have been implemented without the insistence of Marco Archer’s family.
“Today we are pleased to conduct this final test of the MARCO Alert system,” he said. “Families will no longer have to suffer the agony of being told to wait 48 hours before a search can begin for their missing children or loved ones.
First Lady Ann Marie Davis of the Office of the Prime Minister’s Spouse was also present and said she was happy to see the system working and congratulated BTC for achieving the goal of making the system work.
“I am very happy to see that the system is working and will bring some comfort to people whose children and loved ones are missing,” she said. “The system will also help in other areas, such as NEMA and sex trafficking.”
BTC CEO Mr. Andre Foster said it was a momentous day for BTC. “It’s truly a momentous day for us at BTC as we bring this alert system to life,” Foster said. “This emergency broadcast system will allow alerts of any national event to be communicated to the public.”
Deputy Commissioner Dames Police explained how the whistleblowing process would be activated. “Once the family of the missing child contacted the police to report the child missing and after all details had been verified, the Commissioner of Police would issue the order to activate the alert system. The alert would then be immediately sent through all the different channels to alert the public.ACP Dames said the system will be officially launched within the next few weeks.
BTC presented a framed portrait painted by famed artist, Jamal Rolle, of Marco Archer to his family.
The MARCO Alert system is named after the late Marco Archer, an 11-year-old sixth grader who went missing in September 2011.
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Photo caption: The final test of the MARCO Alert system was carried out at the Ministry of National Security on Wednesday 16and February 2022. Pictured (seated) Minister of National Security, Hon. Wayne Munroe; and, standing left to right, First Lady Ann Marie Davis, Office of the Prime Minister’s Wife; BTC CEO Andre Foster; and Vice Chairman of the BTC Board of Directors, Valentine Grimes. (BI Photos/Patrick Hanna)