Contract valued at $3.1 million
NASSAU, BAHAMAS- The Ministry of National Security signed a $3.1 million contract with Bahamian company, Multimedia Technology for the rollout of the missing child alert platform — MARCO’s Alert — eight years after the 11-year-old boy the program was named after was abducted and brutally murdered.
The Bahamas is the 19thcountry in the world to introduce a warning system for missing children, according to Minister of National Security Marvin Dames.
The MARCO Alert system will be made available as an application for the public to download. Once downloaded, all application users will receive push notifications whenever there is a missing child alert.
“This is an excellent tool that is long overdue and as a government we are very pleased to be signing off on it today, and there is lots more to come,” Dames said during the signing.
The minister noted that the app also integrates community policing to assist the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) in its efforts to locate missing children.
“We’re going to use, not only the full arm of the law, but we are also going to use the entire nation to expose those persons who may want to engage in these kinds of activities,” he said.
According to officials, the new alert platform sends a clear message potential offenders, pedophiles and kidnapers that law enforcement will use the full extent of the law and resources to find them out.
“We are committed to protecting our children and going after sexual predators, no matter who they are and where they may be,” Dames said.
“We will use whatever means necessary within the framework of the law to ensure that these persons are exposed and placed where they belong.”
Marco would have celebrated his 19thbirthday today.
His sister, Tancia Humes, told Eyewitness Newsthat the program’s introduction is a long-awaited victory.
“We’re happy now that it’s happening because it was supposed to be here a while now, but it happened when it was supposed to happen: No sooner, no later,” Humes said.
She also urged the government to introduced its promised sex offender’s registry.
“The sex offenders list would help for us as parents and loved ones to know who our kids are surrounded by and who to look out for,” she opined.
Marco’s body was found on September 28, 2011, days after he was reporting missing by relatives.
The introduction of the alert has been delayed several times.
The day Marco disappeared, authorities informed his relatives, who had begun searching for the boy, that they had to wait 24 hours before investigation.