The Justice Department last week announced the creation of a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which will begin operation on May 25, National Missing Children's Day. (See Education Week, April 18, 1984.)
Alfred S. Regnery, administrator of the office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention said the center would provide "a valuable federal resource" to parents, citizens, and law-enforcement agencies in helping locate, identify, and return children who have been abducted or who have run away from home.
"Most estimates place the number of missing children in the country at between 500,000 and 2 million annually," Mr. Regnery said. "Parents of missing children often discover that few tools are available to help them in their search for missing sons and daughters. ... Until now, there has been no federal program to help them."
The center will operate a toll-free telephone hotline to collect and disseminate information on sightings of missing children. It will also conduct educational programs to increase the public's awareness of the vulnerability of children to exploitation by abductors, molesters, and other criminals.
The chairman of the center's board of directors is Ernest E. Allen, chairman of the board, director of public safety for Louisville, Ky., and a chairman of the Louisville-Jefferson County task force on missing and exploited children.
John Walsh, founder of the Adam Walsh Child Resource Center in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., will serve as special advisor to the center. Jay Howell, a former Florida prosecutor and Senate investigator will serve as executive director.
John Chin, the former New York City school employee whose arrest led to the suspension and investigation of Schools Chancellor Anthony J. Alvarado, was jailed last week following allegations by city prosecutors that he was a drug dealer with more than $400,000 in assets, a perjurer, and involved in loan-shark operations.
Mr. Chin, a former employee of Mr. Alvarado, had been free on $10,000 bond after his arrest Feb. 27 for firing a gun into a neighbor's apartment. But at a hearing last week, Judge Amy Juviler raised the bail to $150,000 and said it must be posted in cash or with a bail bond.
She said her decision was made "solely on the basis that this is a man with a great deal of assets and a man with the ability to move outside this jurisdiction."
Meanwhile, the city's board of education is planning to print about 71,500 new high-school diplomas because the original ones for this year's seniors bear the name of suspended Schools Chancellor Alvarado, whose case involving charges of self-dealing may not be settled by graduation day in June.
A spokesman for the board said it "is more or less understood" that the board will approve the printing of the new diplomas when it meets this week.
The new diplomas will be signed by Acting Chancellor Nathan Quinones; they will cost approximately $19,900.