N.J. State Police trailer a portable command unit for missing persons

 Lieutenant Louis Andrinopoulos, the head of the N.J. State Police Missing Persons Unit, displays the new trailer that was purchased with federal grant money. (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

Lieutenant Louis Andrinopoulos, the head of the N.J. State Police Missing Persons Unit, displays the new trailer that was purchased with federal grant money. (Phil Gregory/for NewsWorks)

The New Jersey State Police has some new equipment to help in the search for missing kids. A specially-equipped trailer purchased with federal grant money is now assigned to the State Police Missing Persons Unit.

The unit’s head, Lt. Louis Andrinopoulos says about 800 children under the age of 13 are reported missing in New Jersey each year. In the case of an abduction, he says 70 percent of kids don’t survive more than three hours.

“In an area of a child’s life being in danger where time is of the essence we can run everything out of this trailer,” Andrinopoulos said. “If you don’t have a printer, if your computer is not working, if you don’t have the forms, if you don’t have the equipment, you waste time trying to organize all these things. When we come with this we are ready to go.”

Maj. Pat Callahan is the commanding officer of the State Police Emergency Management Section. He says the trailer can be used to coordinate search efforts with local volunteers.

“There’s nothing I don’t think any more tragic or devastating than a child to go missing,” Callahan said. “So for that Missing Person Unit to have not only the tools and capabilities of their child abduction response team coupled with the volunteer and the folks that are able to help us out there, I think this will go a long way.”

Four other trailers that contain equipment and medical kits are being given to towns to enhance local emergency response capabilities.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.